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Maturation of vomeronasal receptor neurons in vitro by coculture with accessory olfactory bulb neurons



Maturation of vomeronasal receptor neurons in vitro by coculture with accessory olfactory bulb neurons



Chemical Senses 30(2): 111-119



To analyze the mechanisms of perception and processing of pheromonal signals in vitro, we previously developed a new culture system for vomeronasal receptor neurons (VRNs), referred to as the vomeronasal pocket (VN pocket). However, very few VRNs were found to express the olfactory marker protein (OMP) and to have protruding microvilli in VN pockets, indicating that these VRNs are immature and that VN pockets are not appropriate for pheromonal recognition. To induce VRN maturation in VN pockets, we here attempted to coculture VN pockets with a VRN target-accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) neurons. At 3 weeks of coculture with AOB neurons, the number of OMP-immunopositive VRNs increased. By electron microscopy, the development of microvilli in VRNs was found to occur coincidentally with OMP expression in vitro. These results indicate that VRN maturation is induced by coculture with AOB neurons. The OMP expression of VRNs was induced not only by AOB neurons but also by neurons of other parts of the central nervous system (CNS). Thus, VRN maturation requires only CNS neurons. Since the maturation of VRNs was not induced in one-well separate cultures, the nonspecific induction of OMP expression by CNS neurons suggests the involvement of a direct contact effect with CNS in VRN maturation.

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Accession: 049538556

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 15703330

DOI: 10.1093/chemse/bji006


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