Olfactory epithelium cannot be properly appreciated in routine histological preparations. Nevertheless, this pseudostratified epithelium differs noticeably (it is thicker and has many more nuclei) from the ordinary respiratory epithelium which lines most of the airways.
The nuclei in the upper, outermost level generally belong to the "sustentacular" (sustaining or support) cells.
The "olfactory vesicles" of the olfactory cells, with their ciliary tentacles, are not apparent, nor are the axons which proceed from each olfactory cell to the olfactory bulb.
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Last updated: 28 July 2003 / dgk