Odorant stimulation promotes survival of rodent olfactory receptor neurons via PI3K/Akt activation and Bcl-2 expression

So Yeun Kim, Seung Jun Yoo, Gabriele V. Ronnett, Eun Kyoung Kim, Cheil Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Olfactory stimulation activates multiple signaling cascades in order to mediate activity-driven changes in gene expression that promote neuronal survival. To date, the mechanisms involved in activity-dependent olfactory neuronal survival have yet to be fully elucidated. In the current study, we observed that olfactory sensory stimulation, which caused neuronal activation, promoted activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3’-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway and the expression of Bcl-2, which were responsible for olfactory receptor neuron (ORN) survival. We demonstrated that Bcl-2 expression increased after odorant stimulation both in vivo and in vitro. We also showed that odorant stimulation activated Akt, and that Akt activation was completely blocked by incubation with both a PI3K inhibitor (LY294002) and Akt1 small interfering RNA. Moreover, blocking the PI3K/Akt pathway diminished the odorantinduced Bcl-2 expression, as well as the effects on odorant-induced ORN survival. A temporal difference was noted between the activation of Akt1 and the expression of Bcl-2 following odorant stimulation. Blocking the PI3K/Akt pathway did not affect ORN survival in the time range prior to the increase in Bcl-2 expression, implying that these two events, activation of the PI3K pathway and Bcl-2 induction, were tightly connected to promote post-translational ORN survival. Collectively, our results indicated that olfactory activity activated PI3K/Akt, induced Bcl-2, and promoted long term ORN survival as a result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-539
Number of pages5
JournalMolecules and Cells
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015


  • Bcl-2
  • Odorant
  • Olfactory receptor neuron
  • PI3K/Akt
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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