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McClintock T.S.,University of Kentucky | Adipietro K.,Duke University | Adipietro K.,University of Maryland Baltimore County | Titlow W.B.,University of Kentucky | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Our understanding of mammalian olfactory coding has been impeded by the paucity of information about the odorant receptors (ORs) that respond to a given odorant ligand in awake, freely behaving animals. Identifying the ORs that respond in vivo to a given odorant ligand from among the ∼1100 ORs in mice is intrinsically challenging but critical for our understanding of olfactory coding at the periphery. Here, we report an in vivo assay that is based on a novel gene-targeted mouse strain, S100a5–tauGFP, in which a fluorescent reporter selectively marks olfactory sensory neurons that have been activated recently in vivo. Because each olfactory sensory neuron expresses a single OR gene, multiple ORs responding to a given odorant ligand can be identified simultaneously by capturing the population of activated olfactory sensory neurons and using expression profiling methods to screen the repertoire of mouse OR genes. We used this in vivo assay to re-identify known eugenol- and muscone-responsive mouse ORs. We identified additional ORs responsive to eugenol or muscone. Heterologous expression assays confirmed nine eugenol-responsive ORs (Olfr73, Olfr178, Olfr432, Olfr610, Olfr958, Olfr960, Olfr961, Olfr913, and Olfr1234) and four muscone-responsive ORs (Olfr74, Olfr235, Olfr816, and Olfr1440). We found that the human ortholog of Olfr235 and Olfr1440 responds to macrocyclic ketone and lactone musk odorants but not to polycyclic musk odorants or a macrocyclic diester musk odorant. This novel assay, called the Kentucky in vivo odorant ligand–receptor assay, should facilitate the in vivo identification of mouse ORs for a given odorant ligand of interest. © 2014 the authors.

Omura M.,Max Planck Research Unit for Neurogenetics | Mombaerts P.,Max Planck Research Unit for Neurogenetics
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Chemoreception in the mouse olfactory system occurs primarily at two chemosensory epithelia in the nasal cavity: the main olfactory epithelium (MOE) and the vomeronasal epithelium. The canonical chemosensory neurons in the MOE, the olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs), express the odorant receptor (OR) gene repertoire, and depend on Adcy3 and Cnga2 for chemosensory signal transduction. The canonical chemosensory neurons in the vomeronasal epithelium, the vomeronasal sensory neurons (VSNs), express two unrelated vomeronasal receptor (VR) gene repertoires, and involve Trpc2 for chemosensory signal transduction. Recently we reported the discovery of two types of neurons in the mouse MOE that express Trcp2 in addition to Cnga2. These cell types can be distinguished at the single-cell level by expression of Adcy3: positive, type A and negative, type B. Some type A cells express OR genes. Thus far there is no specific gene or marker for type B cells, hampering further analyses such as physiological recordings. Here, we show that among MOE cells, type B cells are unique in their expression of the soluble guanylate cyclase Gucy1b2. We came across Gucy1b2 in an explorative approach based on Long Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (LongSAGE) that we applied to single red-fluorescent cells isolated from whole olfactory mucosa and vomeronasal organ of mice of a novel Trcp2-IRES-taumCherry gene-targeted strain. The generation of a novel Gucy1b2-IRES-tauGFP gene-targeted strain enabled us to visualize coalescence of axons of type B cells into glomeruli in the main olfactory bulb. Our molecular and anatomical analyses define Gucy1b2 as a marker for type B cells within the MOE. The Gucy1b2-IRES-tauGFP strain will be useful for physiological, molecular, cellular, and anatomical studies of this newly described chemosensory subsystem. © 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc.

Omura M.,Max Planck Research Unit for Neurogenetics | Grosmaitre X.,University of Pennsylvania | Grosmaitre X.,Center Des Science Du Gout Et Of Lalimentation | Ma M.,University of Pennsylvania | Mombaerts P.,Max Planck Research Unit for Neurogenetics
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience | Year: 2014

In the mouse, mature olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) express one allele of one of the ~. 1200 odorant receptor (OR) genes, which encode G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Axons of OSNs that express the same OR coalesce into homogeneous glomeruli at conserved positions in the olfactory bulb. ORs are involved in OR gene choice and OSN axonal wiring, but the mechanisms remain poorly understood. One approach is to substitute an OR genetically with another GPCR, and to determine in which aspects this GPCR can serve as a surrogate OR under experimental conditions. Here, we characterize a novel gene-targeted mouse strain in which the mouse β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) is coexpressed with tauGFP in OSNs that choose the OR locus M71 for expression (β2AR→M71-GFP). By crossing these mice with β2AR→M71-lacZ gene-targeted mice, we find that differentially tagged β2AR→M71 alleles are expressed monoallelically. The OR coding sequence is thus not required for monoallelic expression - the expression of one of the two alleles of a given OR gene in an OSN. We detect strong β2AR immunoreactivity in dendritic cilia of β2AR→M71-GFP OSNs. These OSNs respond to the β2AR agonist isoproterenol in a dose-dependent manner. Axons of β2AR→M71-GFP OSNs coalesce into homogeneous glomeruli, and β2AR immunoreactivity is detectable within these glomeruli. We do not find evidence for expression of endogenous β2AR in OSNs of wild-type mice, also not in M71-expressing OSNs, and we do not observe overt differences in the olfactory system of β2AR and β1AR knockout mice. Our findings corroborate the experimental value of the β2AR as a surrogate OR, including for the study of the mechanisms of monoallelic expression. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Georgiev T.,University of Heidelberg | Zapiec B.,University of Heidelberg | Zapiec B.,Max Planck Research Unit for Neurogenetics | Forderer M.,University of Heidelberg | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Structural Biology | Year: 2015

Ca2+ regulates several important intracellular processes. We combined second harmonic generation (SHG) and two photon excited fluorescence microscopy (2PFM) to simultaneously record the SHG signal of the myosin filaments and localized elementary Ca2+ release signals (LCSs). We found LCSs associated with Y-shaped structures of the myosin filament pattern (YMs), so called verniers, in intact mouse skeletal muscle fibers under hypertonic treatment. Ion channels crucial for the Ca2+ regulation are located in the tubular system, a system that is important for Ca2+ regulation and excitation-contraction coupling. We investigated the tubular system of intact, living mouse skeletal muscle fibers using 2PFM and the fluorescent Ca2+ indicator Fluo-4 dissolved in the external solution or the membrane dye di-8-ANEPPS. We simultaneously measured the SHG signal from the myosin filaments of the skeletal muscle fibers. We found that at least a subset of the YMs observed in SHG images are closely juxtaposed with Y-shaped structures of the transverse tubules (YTs). The distances of corresponding YMs and YTs yield values between 1.3μm and 4.1μm including pixel uncertainty with a mean distance of 2.52±0.10μm (S.E.M., n=41). Additionally, we observed that some of the linear-shaped areas in the tubular system are colocalized with linear-shaped areas in the SHG images. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Omura M.,Max Planck Research Unit for Neurogenetics | Mombaerts P.,Max Planck Research Unit for Neurogenetics
Cell Reports | Year: 2014

The mouse olfactory system contains two distinct chemosensory epithelia, the main olfactory epithelium (MOE) and the vomeronasal epithelium (VNE). Their sensory neurons express odorant receptor genes and vomeronasal receptor genes, respectively, and differ fundamentally in their signal transduction pathways. Genes required for chemosensory transduction are the cyclic nucleotide-gated channel subunit Cnga2 and the transient receptor potential cation channel Trpc2, respectively. Here, we document two previously unrecognized types of Trpc2+ neurons in the MOE of mice of various ages, including adults. These cell types express Cnga2 and can be distinguished by expression of adenylate cyclase Adcy3 (positive: type A; negative: type B). A third of MOE neurons that express the odorant receptor genes Olfr68/Olfr69 coexpress Trpc2 and are type A cells. In Trpc2-IRES-taulacZ gene-targeted mice, some labeled axons coalesce into glomeruli in the main olfactory bulb. Our findings have implications for the conventional VNE-centric interpretation of the behavioral phenotypes of Trpc2 knockout mice. © 2014 The Authors.

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