Regulation of intracellular cyclic GMP levels in olfactory sensory neurons

Cheil Moon, Phyllis J. Simpson, Yajun Tu, Helen Cho, Gabriele V. Ronnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cyclic AMP is the primary second messenger mediating odorant signal transduction in mammals. A number of studies indicate that cyclic GMP is also involved in a variety of other olfactory signal transduction processes, including adaptation, neuronal development, and long-term cellular responses in the setting of odorant stimulation. However, the mechanisms that control the production and degradation of cGMP in olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) remain unclear. Here, we investigate these mechanisms using primary cultures of OSNs. We demonstrate that odorants increase cGMP levels in intact OSNs in vitro. Different from the rapid and transient cAMP responses to odorants, the cGMP elevation is both delayed and sustained. Inhibition of soluble guanylyl cyclase and heme oxygenase blocks these odorant-induced cGMP increases, whereas inhibition of cGMP PDEs (phosphodiesterases) increases this response. cGMP PDE activity is increased by odorant stimulation, and is sensitive to both ambient calcium and cAMP concentrations. Calcium stimulates cGMP PDE activity, whereas cAMP and protein kinase A appears to inhibit it. These data demonstrate a mechanism by which odorant stimulation may regulate cGMP levels through the modulation of cAMP and calcium level in OSNs. Such interactions between odorants and second messenger systems may be important to the integration of immediate and long-term responses in the setting odorant stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-209
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Cyclic GMP
  • Guanylyl cyclase
  • Olfaction
  • Olfactory sensory neuron
  • Phosphodiesterase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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