Biochemical Markers of the Primary Olfactory Pathway: A Model Neural System

  • Frank L. Margolis


The purpose of biochemistry is to try to explain biology at the molecular level. Thus, by analogy, the role of neurochemistry is to try to explain the biology of neural tissue and then, ultimately, to integrate biochemical correlates of neural activity with associated behavioral events. The brain of a mammal is perhaps its most complex organ with regard to both structure and function. To the naked eye it is composed of several morphologically distinct subsections apparently randomly joined together. As one proceeds to finer and finer levels of resolution, it rapidly becomes apparent that this tissue is composed of billions of cells which interact with each other in ways which are extremely complex, morphologically variable, and yet extremely specific. Nevertheless, the usual biochemical approach to this tissue is to treat it quite cavalierly and to convert it into a homogeneous “thin soup.” This results in total destruction of structure and renders virtually impossible any attempts to understand structure-function relationships at supra-molecular levels. Intercellular relationships in neural tissue in vivo, occur largely between dissimilar groups of cells. An approach to a study of these relationships by means of biochemical markers will permit the evaluation of the physiological state of a selected cell in the presence of various other cell types.


Olfactory Bulb Biochemical Marker Olfactory Epithelium Zinc Sulfate Olfactory Mucosa 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank L. Margolis
    • 1
  1. 1.Roche Institute of Molecular BiologyNutleyUSA

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