The spatial and temporal expression of subunit 1 of the olfactory cyclic nucleotide-gated channel was investigated using affinity-purified anti-fusion protein antibodies. Immunoreactivity was most prominent in the ciliary layer of the olfactory epithelium, but high protein expression was also seen along the entire length of olfactory receptor neuronal axons to the level of the glomeruli. Electron microscopy showed that the long, thin distal compartments of olfactory cilia labeled more prominently than their thicker proximal segments. This was true as soon as these distal parts began to develop. Using light microscopy, developmental expression of olfactory cyclic nucleotide-gated channel subunit 1 could be detected in discrete populations of olfactory receptor neurons by embryonic day 14. Other signaling molecules are expressed either later (G(olf)) or only at the level of the epithelial surface and not in axons (adenylyl cyclase type III). Following unilateral lesions of the olfactory bulb, olfactory cyclic nucleotide-gated channel subunit 1 immunoreactivity was present early and throughout developing olfactory receptor neurons; adenylyl cyclase type III immunoreactivity, in contrast, was detectable only later, and again present only in the cilial layer. These results support the hypothesis that this subunit of the olfactory cyclic nucleotide-gated channel may be involved in olfactory axon guidance, in addition to its well-described role in olfactory signal transduction.
- Cyclic nucleotide-gated channel
- Olfactory neuron
- Second messenger
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