Functional identification and reconstitution of an odorant receptor in single olfactory neurons. (1/735)

The olfactory system is remarkable in its capacity to discriminate a wide range of odorants through a series of transduction events initiated in olfactory receptor neurons. Each olfactory neuron is expected to express only a single odorant receptor gene that belongs to the G protein coupled receptor family. The ligand-receptor interaction, however, has not been clearly characterized. This study demonstrates the functional identification of olfactory receptor(s) for specific odorant(s) from single olfactory neurons by a combination of Ca2+-imaging and reverse transcription-coupled PCR analysis. First, a candidate odorant receptor was cloned from a single tissue-printed olfactory neuron that displayed odorant-induced Ca2+ increase. Next, recombinant adenovirus-mediated expression of the isolated receptor gene was established in the olfactory epithelium by using green fluorescent protein as a marker. The infected neurons elicited external Ca2+ entry when exposed to the odorant that originally was used to identify the receptor gene. Experiments performed to determine ligand specificity revealed that the odorant receptor recognized specific structural motifs within odorant molecules. The odorant receptor-mediated signal transduction appears to be reconstituted by this two-step approach: the receptor screening for given odorant(s) from single neurons and the functional expression of the receptor via recombinant adenovirus. The present approach should enable us to examine not only ligand specificity of an odorant receptor but also receptor specificity and diversity for a particular odorant of interest.  (+info)

Chemoattraction and chemorepulsion of olfactory bulb axons by different secreted semaphorins. (2/735)

During development, growth cones can be guided at a distance by diffusible factors, which are attractants and/or repellents. The semaphorins are the largest family of repulsive axon guidance molecules. Secreted semaphorins bind neuropilin receptors and repel sensory, sympathetic, motor, and forebrain axons. We found that in rat embryos, the olfactory epithelium releases a diffusible factor that repels olfactory bulb axons. In addition, Sema A and Sema IV, but not Sema III, Sema E, or Sema H, are able to orient in vitro the growth of olfactory bulb axons; Sema IV has a strong repulsive action, whereas Sema A appears to attract those axons. The expression patterns of sema A and sema IV in the developing olfactory system confirm that they may play a cooperative role in the formation of the lateral olfactory tract. This also represents a further evidence for a chemoattractive function of secreted semaphorins.  (+info)

A novel 45 kDa secretory protein from rat olfactory epithelium: primary structure and localisation. (3/735)

cDNA clones encoding the 45 kDa protein were isolated from a rat olfactory epithelium cDNA library and their inserts were sequenced. The reconstructed protein sequence comprises 400 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 46,026 Da. A homology was revealed between the amino acid sequence of the 45 kDa protein and the proteins involved in the transfer of hydrophobic ligands. Using in situ hybridisation, the 45 kDa protein mRNA expression was detected in the layer of supportive cells of olfactory epithelium, apical region of trachea, surface layer of the ciliated bronchial epithelium in lung and in skin epidermis.  (+info)

Localization and comparative toxicity of methylsulfonyl-2,5- and 2,6-dichlorobenzene in the olfactory mucosa of mice. (4/735)

Several methylsulfonyl (MeSO2) metabolites formed from chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons have been identified in human milk, lung, and body fat, as well as in the tissues of Baltic grey seals and arctic polar bears. The tissue localization and nasal toxicity of two methylsulfonyl-substituted dichlorobenzenes (diCl-MeSO2-B), with the chlorine atoms in the 2,5-, and 2,6- positions, were investigated in female NMRI and C57B1 mice. Using tape-section autoradiography, animals dosed i.v. with 14C-labeled 2,5-, or 2,6-(diCl-MeSO2-B) showed a preferential uptake of radioactivity in the olfactory mucosa and the tracheobronchial epithelium. Histopathology showed that 2,6-(diCl-MeSO2-B) is a potent toxicant that induces necrosis in the olfactory mucosa following a single dose as low as 4 mg/kg (i.p. injection), whereas 2,5-(diCl-MeSO2-B) induced no signs of toxicity in the olfactory mucosa at doses as high as 130 mg/kg (i.p. injection). Necrosis of the Bowman's glands was the first sign of 2,6-(diCl-MeSO2-B)-induced toxicity followed by degeneration of the neuroepithelium, which implies that the Bowman's gland may be the primary site of toxicity and degeneration of the neuroepithelium may be a secondary effect. Administration of the parent compounds, 1,3-dichlorobenzene and 1,4-dichlorobenzene, or the chlorinated analog 1,2,3-trichlorobenzene (85, 85, and 105 mg/kg, respectively; i.p. injection), induced no signs of toxicity in the olfactory mucosa. These and previous results suggest that 2,6-positioned chlorine atoms and an electron withdrawing substituent in the primary position is an arrangement that predisposes for toxicity in the olfactory mucosa.  (+info)

Identification and localisation of glycoconjugates in the olfactory mucosa of the armadillo Chaetophractus villosus. (5/735)

Conventional histochemistry and the binding patterns of 22 biotinylated lectins were examined for characterisation of glycoconjugates in the components of the olfactory mucosa of the armadillo Chaetophractus villosus. The mucous lining the olfactory epithelium showed binding sites for DSL, WGA, STL, LEL, PHA-E and JAC. Only the basilar processes of the supporting cells stained for Con-A and S-Con A. The olfactory receptor neurons stained with LEL, LCA, Con A, S-Con A, JAC and PNA. The layer of basal cells did not react with any of the lectins studied. Bowman's glands in the lamina propria showed subpopulations of acinar cells reacting with SBA, S-WGA, WGA, STL, Con A, PSA, PNA, SJA, VVA, JAC and S-Con A, but in our optical studies with lectins we were unable to differentiate between mucous and serous cells in the way that is possible on electron microscopy. The ducts of Bowman's glands were labelled with S-WGA, STL, LEL, PHA-E, BSL-I and JAC. This histochemical study on the glycoconjugates of the olfactory mucosa in the order Xenarthra provides a basis for further experimental investigations.  (+info)

Evidence for site-specific bioactivation of alachlor in the olfactory mucosa of the Long-Evans rat. (6/735)

Alachlor (2-chloro-2',6'-diethyl-N-[methoxymethyl]-acetanilide) is a restricted-use chloracetanilide herbicide which has been shown previously to produce a dose-dependent incidence of olfactory mucosal tumors in rats following chronic dietary exposure. However, the mechanism of alachlor carcinogenicity is poorly understood. Alachlor was administered i.p. to male Long-Evans rats for up to 28 days at doses that are carcinogenic in chronic studies in order to study olfactory lesion development and alterations in cell proliferation. Neither treatment-related olfactory mucosal lesions nor regenerative cell proliferation, as assessed with BrdU labeling, was detected. In vitro genotoxicity studies using Salmonella typhimurium strain TA100 showed that alachlor was non-mutagenic in the absence of metabolic activation. When pre-incubated with an olfactory mucosal S9 activation system, alachlor induced a weak, dose-dependent mutagenic response at 500-1250 micrograms/plate, with toxicity at higher doses. In contrast, an S9 activation system derived from nasal respiratory mucosa, the tissue physically juxtaposed with the olfactory mucosa but reportedly not susceptible to alachlor-induced tumors, did not produce a mutagenic response for alachlor or the positive control. Thus, this result suggested site-specificity of alachlor activation consistent with the target site of carcinogenicity. The mutagenicity of alachlor to Salmonella, in the presence of an olfactory mucosal-activating system, was confirmed by a limited positive response in the mouse lymphoma assay. Here there were increases in small colony mutants (indicative of chromosomal effects) as well as large colony mutants (which reflect gene mutations). This study suggests that target tissue bioactivation of alachlor results in the formation of one or more mutagenic metabolite(s), which may be critical in alachlor-induced nasal tumorigenesis.  (+info)

An olfactory sensory neuron line, odora, properly targets olfactory proteins and responds to odorants. (7/735)

The site for interactions between the nervous system and much of the chemical world is in the olfactory sensory neuron (OSN). Odorant receptor proteins (ORPs) are postulated to mediate these interactions. However, the function of most ORPs has not been demonstrated in vivo or in vitro. For this and other reasons, we created a conditionally immortalized cell line derived from the OSN lineage, which we term odora. Odora cells, under control conditions, are phenotypically similar to the OSN progenitor, the globose basal cell. After differentiation, odora cells more closely resemble OSNs. Differentiated odora cells express neuronal and olfactory markers, including components of the olfactory signal transduction pathway. Unlike other cell lines, they also efficiently target exogenous ORPs to their surface. Strikingly, differentiated odora cells expressing ORPs respond to odorants, as measured by an influx of calcium. In particular, cells expressing one ORP demonstrate a specific response to only one type of tested odorant. Odora cells, therefore, are ideal models to examine the genesis and function of olfactory sensory neurons.  (+info)

Olfactory neurons expressing closely linked and homologous odorant receptor genes tend to project their axons to neighboring glomeruli on the olfactory bulb. (8/735)

We have characterized two separate odorant receptor (OR) gene clusters to examine how olfactory neurons expressing closely linked and homologous OR genes project their axons to the olfactory bulb. Murine OR genes, MOR28, MOR10, and MOR83, share 75-95% similarities in the amino acid sequences and are tightly linked on chromosome 14. In situ hybridization has demonstrated that the three genes are expressed in the same zone, at the most dorsolateral and ventromedial portions of the olfactory epithelium, and are rarely expressed simultaneously in individual neurons. Furthermore, we have found that olfactory neurons expressing MOR28, MOR10, or MOR83 project their axons to very close but distinct subsets of glomeruli on the medial and lateral sides of the olfactory bulb. Similar results have been obtained with another murine OR gene cluster for A16 and MOR18 on chromosome 2, sharing 91% similarity in the amino acid sequences. These results may indicate an intriguing possibility that olfactory neurons expressing homologous OR genes within a cluster tend to converge their axons to proximal but distinct subsets of glomeruli. These lines of study will shed light on the molecular basis of topographical projection of olfactory neurons to the olfactory bulb.  (+info)