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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of olfactory receptors in the cribriform mesenchyme during prenatal development.

Olfactory receptors (ORs) are expressed in sensory neurons of the nasal epithelium, where they are supposed to be involved in the recognition of suitable odorous compounds and in the guidance of outgrowing axons towards the appropriate glomeruli in the olfactory bulb. During development, some olfactory receptor subtypes have also been found in non-sensory tissues, including the cribriform mesenchyme between the prospective olfactory epithelium and the developing telencephalon, but it is elusive if this is a typical phenomenon for ORs. Monitoring the onset and time course of expression for several receptor subtypes revealed that 'extraepithelial' expression of ORs occurs very early and transiently, in particular between embryonic stages E10.25 and E14. 0. In later stages, a progressive loss of receptor expressing cells was observed. Molecular phenotyping demonstrated that the receptor expressing cells in the cribriform mesenchyme co-express key elements, including Galpha(olf), ACIII and OMP, characteristic for olfactory neurons in the nasal epithelium. Studies on transgenic OMP/GFP-mice showed that 'extraepithelial' OMP/GFP-positive cells are located in close vicinity to axon bundles projecting from the nasal epithelium to the presumptive olfactory bulb. Moreover, these cells are primarily located where axons fasciculate and change direction towards the anterior part of the forebrain.[1]


  1. Expression of olfactory receptors in the cribriform mesenchyme during prenatal development. Schwarzenbacher, K., Fleischer, J., Breer, H., Conzelmann, S. Gene Expr. Patterns (2004) [Pubmed]
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