Axon fasciculation in the developing olfactory nerve.
ABSTRACT: Olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) axons exit the olfactory epithelium (OE) and extend toward the olfactory bulb (OB) where they coalesce into glomeruli. Each OSN expresses only 1 of approximately 1,200 odor receptors (ORs). OSNs expressing the same OR are distributed in restricted zones of the OE. However, within a zone, the OSNs expressing a specific OR are not contiguous - distribution appears stochastic. Upon reaching the OB the OSN axons expressing the same OR reproducibly coalesce into two to three glomeruli. While ORs appear necessary for appropriate convergence of axons, a variety of adhesion associated molecules and activity-dependent mechanisms are also implicated. Recent data suggest pre-target OSN axon sorting may influence glomerular convergence. Here, using regional and OR-specific markers, we addressed the spatio-temporal properties associated with the onset of homotypic fasciculation in embryonic mice and assessed the degree to which subpopulations of axons remain segregated as they extend toward the nascent OB. We show that immediately upon crossing the basal lamina, axons uniformly turn sharply, usually at an approximately 90° angle toward the OB. Molecularly defined subpopulations of axons show evidence of spatial segregation within the nascent nerve by embryonic day 12, within 48 hours of the first OSN axons crossing the basal lamina, but at least 72 hours before synapse formation in the developing OB. Homotypic fasciculation of OSN axons expressing the same OR appears to be a hierarchical process. While regional segregation occurs in the mesenchyme, the final convergence of OR-specific subpopulations does not occur until the axons reach the inner nerve layer of the OB.
Project description:Odorant receptors (OR) are strongly implicated in coalescence of olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) axons and the formation of olfactory bulb (OB) glomeruli. However, when ORs are first expressed relative to basal cell division and OSN axon extension is unknown. We developed an in vivo fate-mapping strategy that enabled us to follow OSN maturation and axon extension beginning at basal cell division. In parallel, we mapped the molecular development of OSNs beginning at basal cell division, including the onset of OR expression. Our data show that ORs are first expressed around 4 d following basal cell division, 24 h after OSN axons have reached the OB. Over the next 6+ days the OSN axons navigate the OB nerve layer and ultimately coalesce in glomeruli. These data provide a previously unidentified perspective on the role of ORs in homophilic OSN axon adhesion and lead us to propose a new model dividing axon extension into two phases. Phase I is OR-independent and accounts for up to 50% of the time during which axons approach the OB and begin navigating the olfactory nerve layer. Phase II is OR-dependent and concludes as OSN axons coalesce in glomeruli.
Project description:Olfactory sensory neurons (OSN) in mice express only 1 of a possible 1,100 odor receptors (OR) and axons from OSNs expressing the same odor receptor converge into approximately 2 of the 1,800 glomeruli in each olfactory bulb (OB) in mice; this yields a convergence ratio that approximates 2:1, 2 glomeruli/OR. Because humans express only 350 intact ORs, we examined human OBs to determine if the glomerular convergence ratio of 2:1 established in mice was applicable to humans. Unexpectedly, the average number of human OB glomeruli is >5,500 yielding a convergence ratio of approximately 16:1. The data suggest that the initial coding of odor information in the human OB may differ from the models developed for rodents and that recruitment of additional glomeruli for subpopulations of ORs may contribute to more robust odor representation.
Project description:Olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) project their axons from the olfactory epithelium toward the olfactory bulb (OB) in a heterogeneous and unsorted arrangement. However, as the axons approach the glomerular layer of the OB, axons from OSNs expressing the same odorant receptor (OR) sort and converge to form molecularly homogeneous glomeruli. Axon guidance cues, cell adhesion molecules, and OR induced activity have been implicated in the final targeting of OSN axons to specific glomeruli. Less understood, and often controversial, are the mechanisms used by OSN axons to initially navigate from the OE toward the OB. We previously demonstrated a role for Wnt and Frizzled (Fz) molecules in OSN axon extension and organization within the olfactory nerve. Building on that we now turned our attention to the downstream signaling cascades from Wnt-Fz interactions. Dishevelled (Dvl) is a key molecule downstream of Fz receptors. Three isoforms of Dvl with specific as well as overlapping functions are found in mammals. Here, we show that Dvl-1 expression is restricted to OSNs in the dorsal recess of the nasal cavity, and labels a unique subpopulation of glomeruli. Dvl-2 and Dvl-3 have a widespread distribution in both the OE and OB. Both Dvl-1 and Dvl-2 are associated with intra-glomerular pre-synaptic OSN terminals, suggesting a role in synapse formation/stabilization. Moreover, because Dvl proteins were observed in all OSN axons, we hypothesize that they are important determinants of OSN cell differentiation and axon extension.
Project description:Incorporation of new neurons enables plasticity and repair of circuits in the adult brain. Adult neurogenesis is a key feature of the mammalian olfactory system, with new olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) wiring into highly organized olfactory bulb (OB) circuits throughout life. However, neither when new postnatally generated OSNs first form synapses nor whether OSNs retain the capacity for synaptogenesis once mature, is known. Therefore, how integration of adult-born OSNs may contribute to lifelong OB plasticity is unclear. Here, we use a combination of electron microscopy, optogenetic activation and in vivo time-lapse imaging to show that newly generated OSNs form highly dynamic synapses and are capable of eliciting robust stimulus-locked firing of neurons in the mouse OB. Furthermore, we demonstrate that mature OSN axons undergo continuous activity-dependent synaptic remodelling that persists into adulthood. OSN synaptogenesis, therefore, provides a sustained potential for OB plasticity and repair that is much faster than OSN replacement alone.
Project description:Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) is a pleiotropic, heterogeneous human disease whose etiology lies primarily in dysfunctional basal bodies and/or cilia. Both BBS patients and several BBS mouse models exhibit impaired olfactory function. To explore the nature of olfactory defects in BBS, a genetic ablation of the mouse Bbs8 gene that incorporates a fluorescent reporter protein was created. The endogenous BBS8 protein and reporter are particularly abundant in olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs), and specific BBS8 antibodies reveal staining in the dendritic knob in a shell-like structure that surrounds the basal bodies. Bbs8-null mice have reduced olfactory responses to a number of odorants, and immunohistochemical analyses reveal a near-complete loss of cilia from OSNs and mislocalization of proteins normally enriched in cilia. To visualize altered protein localization in OSNs, we generated a SLP3(eGFP) knock-in mouse and imaged the apical epithelium, including dendritic knobs and proximal cilia, in ex vivo tissue preparations. Additionally, protein reagents that reflect the characteristic neuronal activity of each OSN revealed altered activity in Bbs8-null cells. In addition to previously known defects at the ciliary border, we also observed aberrant targeting of OSN axons to the olfactory bulb; axons expressing the same receptor display reduced fasciculation and project to multiple targets in the olfactory bulb. We suggest that loss of BBS8 leads to a dramatic and variable reduction in cilia, the essential signaling platform for olfaction, which alters the uniformity of responses in populations of OSNs expressing the same receptor, thereby contributing to the observed axon-targeting defects.
Project description: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 ?2-adrenergic receptor (?2AR) is coexpressed with tauGFP in OSNs that choose the OR locus M71 for expression (?2AR?M71-GFP). By crossing these mice with ?2AR?M71-lacZ gene-targeted mice, we find that differentially tagged ?2AR?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 ?2AR immunoreactivity in dendritic cilia of ?2AR?M71-GFP OSNs. These OSNs respond to the ?2AR agonist isoproterenol in a dose-dependent manner. Axons of ?2AR?M71-GFP OSNs coalesce into homogeneous glomeruli, and ?2AR immunoreactivity is detectable within these glomeruli. We do not find evidence for expression of endogenous ?2AR in OSNs of wild-type mice, also not in M71-expressing OSNs, and we do not observe overt differences in the olfactory system of ?2AR and ?1AR knockout mice. Our findings corroborate the experimental value of the ?2AR as a surrogate OR, including for the study of the mechanisms of monoallelic expression.
Project description:The glomerular map in the olfactory bulb (OB) is the basis for odor recognition. Once established during development, the glomerular map is stably maintained throughout the life of an animal despite the continuous turnover of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs). However, traumatic damage to OSN axons in the adult often leads to dysosmia, a qualitative and quantitative change in olfaction in humans. A mouse model of dysosmia has previously indicated that there is an altered glomerular map in the OB after the OSN axon injury; however, the underlying mechanisms that cause the map distortion remain unknown. In this study, we examined how the glomerular map is disturbed and how the odor information processing in the OB is affected in the dysosmia model mice. We found that the anterior-posterior coarse targeting of OSN axons is disrupted after OSN axon injury, while the local axon sorting mechanisms remained. We also found that the connectivity of mitral/tufted cell dendrites is reduced after injury, leading to attenuated odor responses in mitral/tufted cells. These results suggest that existing OSN axons are an essential scaffold for maintaining the integrity of the olfactory circuit, both OSN axons and mitral/tufted cell dendrites, in the adult.
Project description:Mechanisms influencing the development of olfactory bulb glomeruli are poorly understood. While odor receptors (ORs) play an important role in olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) axon targeting/coalescence (Mombaerts et al., 1996; Wang et al., 1998; Feinstein and Mombaerts, 2004), recent work showed that G protein activation alone is sufficient to induce OSN axon coalescence (Imai et al., 2006; Chesler et al., 2007), suggesting an activity-dependent mechanism in glomerular development. Consistent with these data, OSN axon projections and convergence are perturbed in mice deficient for adenylyl cyclase III, which is downstream from the OR and catalyzes the conversion of ATP to cAMP. However, in cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channel knock-out mice OSN axons are only transiently perturbed (Lin et al., 2000), suggesting that the CNG channel may not be the sole target of cAMP. This prompted us to investigate an alternative channel, the hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channel (HCN), as a potential developmental target of cAMP in OSNs. Here, we demonstrate that HCN channels are developmentally precocious in OSNs and therefore are plausible candidates for affecting OSN axon development. Inhibition of HCN channels in dissociated OSNs significantly reduced neurite outgrowth. Moreover, in HCN1 knock-out mice the formation of glomeruli was delayed in parallel with perturbations of axon organization in the olfactory nerve. These data support the hypothesis that the outgrowth and coalescence of OSN axons is, at least in part, subject to activity-dependent mechanisms mediated via HCN channels.
Project description:Here, we investigated an Immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily protein IgSF8 which is abundantly expressed in olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) axons and their developing synapses. We demonstrate that expression of IgSF8 within synaptic neuropil is transitory, limited to the period of glomerular formation. Glomerular expression decreases after synaptic maturation and compartmental glomerular organization is achieved, although expression is maintained at high levels within the olfactory nerve layer (ONL). Immunoprecipitations indicate that IgSF8 interacts with tetraspanin CD9 in the olfactory bulb (OB). CD9 is a component of tetraspanin-enriched microdomains (TEMs), specialized microdomains of the plasma membrane known to regulate cell morphology, motility, invasion, fusion and signaling, in both the nervous and immune systems, as well as in tumors. In vitro, both IgSF8 and CD9 localize to puncta within axons and growth cones of OSNs, consistent with TEM localization. When the olfactory epithelium (OE) was lesioned, forcing OSN regeneration en masse, IgSF8 was once again able to be detected in OSN axon terminals as synapses were reestablished. Finally, we halted synaptic maturation within glomeruli by unilaterally blocking functional activity and found that IgSF8 did not undergo exclusion from this subcellular compartment and instead continued to be detected in adult glomeruli. These data support the hypothesis that IgSF8 facilitates OSN synapse formation.
Project description:The embryonic development of the olfactory nerve includes the differentiation of cells within the olfactory placode, migration of cells into the mesenchyme from the placode, and extension of axons by the olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs). The coalition of both placode-derived migratory cells and OSN axons within the mesenchyme is collectively termed the "migratory mass." Here we address the sequence and coordination of the events that give rise to the migratory mass. Using neuronal and developmental markers, we show subpopulations of neurons emerging from the placode by embryonic day (E)10, a time at which the migratory mass is largely cellular and only a few isolated OSN axons are seen, prior to the first appearance of OSN axon fascicles at E11. These neurons also precede the emergence of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons and ensheathing glia which are also resident in the mesenchyme as part of the migratory mass beginning at about E11. The data reported here begin to establish a spatiotemporal framework for the migration of molecularly heterogeneous placode-derived cells in the mesenchyme. The precocious emigration of the early arriving neurons in the mesenchyme suggests they may serve as "guidepost cells" that contribute to the establishment of a scaffold for the extension and coalescence of the OSN axons.