The ultrastructure of the vomeronasal organ (Jacobson's VNO) of the frog, Rana esculenta, was studied under the transmission and scanning electron microscope. Four cell types were identified: ciliated, bipolar, glial-like, and basal. Ciliated cells are unique to the frog VNO and show morphological evidence of secretion; bipolar (neuronal) cells are arranged in columns and reach the free surface of the epithelium with knobs bearing microvilli. The latter are in contact with amorphous material not described previously. Glial-like cells wrap bipolar cells in the epithelium and poorly differentiated basal cells are found just over the basal lamina. The vascular pump described in mammal VNO is not present at all in the frog VNO. We conclude that in the frog the VNO is closer to the reptilian than the mammalian VNO, although the frog VNO shows some unique morphological characteristics.
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