Go protein-dependent survival of primary accessory olfactory neurons

M. Tanaka, H. Treloar, R. G. Kalb, C. A. Greer, S. M. Strittmatter

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45 Scopus citations


Extensive G protein-coupled receptor families in both the main and accessory olfactory systems have been implicated in axonal targeting, sensory function, and cell survival. Although sensory function seems to be mediated by G proteins, axonal guidance and cell survival may be G protein-independent processes. In the accessory olfactory system, the Go-containing neurons in the basal vomeronasal organ (VNO) project to the posterior accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), whereas more apically located VNO neurons contain Gi2 and project to the anterior AOB. Herein, we investigate the organization of the accessory olfactory system in mice with a targeted deletion in the Goα gene. The accessory olfactory system seems normal at birth; however, postnatally, the number of Go-receptor-containing VNO neurons decreases by half, and apoptotic neurons are detected. The axons of VNO neurons remain restricted to the posterior AOB. The posterior AOB is reduced in size but contains a synaptophysin-positive layer with the normal number of glomeruli. The posterior AOB has reduced mitral cell c-Fos immunoreactivity, consistent with decreased sensory activation of Go protein-coupled VNO receptor neurons. Thus, in the accessory olfactory system, receptor-coupled G proteins are required for cell survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14106-14111
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 23 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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