Could the Olfactory System Be a Target for Homeopathic Remedies as Nanomedicines?
ABSTRACT: Homeopathic remedies (HRs) contain odorant molecules such as flavonoids or terpenes and can lose their efficiency in presence of some competitive odors. Such similarities, along with extreme sensitivity of the olfactory system, widespread presence of olfactory receptors over all organic tissues (where they have metabolic roles besides perception of odors), and potential direct access to the brain through olfactory nerves (ONs) and trigeminal nerves, may suggest the olfactory system as target for HRs. Recent works highlighted that HRs exist in a dual form, that is, a still molecular form at low dilution and a nanoparticulate form at high dilution, and that remnants of source remedy persist in extremely high dilutions. From the literature, both odorants and nanoparticles (NPs) can enter the body through inhalation, digestive absorption, or through the skin, especially, NPs or viruses can directly reach the brain through axons of nerves. Assuming that HRs are recognized by olfactory receptors, their information could be transmitted to numerous tissues through receptor-ligand interaction, or to the brain by either activating the axon potential of ONs and trigeminal nerves or, in their nanoparticulate form, by translocating through axons of these nerves. Moreover, the nanoparticulate form may activate the immune system at multiple levels, induce systemic various biological responses through the pituitary axis and inflammation factors, or modulate gene expression at the cellular level. As immunity, inflammation, pituitary axis, and olfactory system are closely linked together, their permanent interaction triggered by olfactory receptors may thus ensure homeostasis.
Project description:The infectious disease melioidosis is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. Melioidosis is characterised by high mortality and morbidity and can involve the central nervous system (CNS). We have previously discovered that B. pseudomallei can infect the CNS via the olfactory and trigeminal nerves in mice. We have shown that the nerve path is dependent on mouse strain, with outbred mice showing resistance to olfactory nerve infection. Damage to the nasal epithelium by environmental factors is common, and we hypothesised that injury to the olfactory epithelium may increase the vulnerability of the olfactory nerve to microbial insult. We therefore investigated this, using outbred mice that were intranasally inoculated with B. pseudomallei, with or without methimazole-induced injury to the olfactory neuroepithelium. Methimazole-mediated injury resulted in increased B. pseudomallei invasion of the olfactory epithelium, and only in pre-injured animals were bacteria found in the olfactory nerve and bulb. In vitro assays demonstrated that B. pseudomallei readily infected glial cells isolated from the olfactory and trigeminal nerves (olfactory ensheathing cells and trigeminal Schwann cells, respectively). Bacteria were degraded by some cells but persisted in other cells, which led to the formation of multinucleated giant cells (MNGCs), with olfactory ensheathing cells less likely to form MNGCs than Schwann cells. Double Cap mutant bacteria, lacking the protein BimA, did not form MNGCs. These data suggest that injuries to the olfactory epithelium expose the primary olfactory nervous system to bacterial invasion, which can then result in CNS infection with potential pathogenic consequences for the glial cells.
Project description:ABSTRACT Melioidosis is a potentially fatal disease that is endemic to tropical northern Australia and Southeast Asia, with a mortality rate of 14 to 50%. The bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent which infects numerous parts of the human body, including the brain, which results in the neurological manifestation of melioidosis. The olfactory nerve constitutes a direct conduit from the nasal cavity into the brain, and we have previously reported that B. pseudomallei can colonize this nerve in mice. We have now investigated in detail the mechanism by which the bacteria penetrate the olfactory and trigeminal nerves within the nasal cavity and infect the brain. We found that the olfactory epithelium responded to intranasal B. pseudomallei infection by widespread crenellation followed by disintegration of the neuronal layer to expose the underlying basal layer, which the bacteria then colonized. With the loss of the neuronal cell bodies, olfactory axons also degenerated, and the bacteria then migrated through the now-open conduit of the olfactory nerves. Using immunohistochemistry, we demonstrated that B. pseudomallei migrated through the cribriform plate via the olfactory nerves to enter the outer layer of the olfactory bulb in the brain within 24 h. We also found that the bacteria colonized the thin respiratory epithelium in the nasal cavity and then rapidly migrated along the underlying trigeminal nerve to penetrate the cranial cavity. These results demonstrate that B. pseudomallei invasion of the nerves of the nasal cavity leads to direct infection of the brain and bypasses the blood-brain barrier. IMPORTANCE Melioidosis is a potentially fatal tropical disease that is endemic to northern Australia and Southeast Asia. It is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, which can infect many organs of the body, including the brain, and results in neurological symptoms. The pathway by which the bacteria can penetrate the brain is unknown, and we have investigated the ability of the bacteria to migrate along nerves that innervate the nasal cavity and enter the frontal region of the brain by using a mouse model of infection. By generating a mutant strain of B. pseudomallei which is unable to survive in the blood, we show that the bacteria rapidly penetrate the cranial cavity using the olfactory (smell) nerve and the trigeminal (sensory) nerve that line the nasal cavity.
Project description:<i>Chlamydia pneumoniae</i> can infect the brain and has been linked to late-onset dementia. <i>Chlamydia muridarum</i>, which infects mice, is often used to model human chlamydial infections. While it has been suggested to be also important for modelling brain infection, nervous system infection by <i>C. muridarum</i> has not been reported in the literature. <i>C. pneumoniae</i> has been shown to infect the olfactory bulb in mice after intranasal inoculation, and has therefore been suggested to invade the brain <i>via</i> the olfactory nerve; however, nerve infection has not been shown to date. Another path by which certain bacteria can reach the brain is <i>via</i> the trigeminal nerve, but it remains unknown whether <i>Chlamydia</i> species can infect this nerve. Other bacteria that can invade the brain <i>via</i> the olfactory and/or trigeminal nerve can do so rapidly, however, whether <i>Chlamydia</i> spp. can reach the brain earlier than one-week post inoculation remains unknown. In the current study, we showed that <i>C. muridarum</i> can within 48 h invade the brain <i>via</i> the olfactory nerve, in addition to infecting the trigeminal nerve. We also cultured the glial cells of the olfactory and trigeminal nerves and showed that <i>C. muridarum</i> readily infected the cells, constituting a possible cellular mechanism explaining how the bacteria can invade the nerves without being eliminated by glial immune functions. Further, we demonstrated that olfactory and trigeminal glia differed in their responses to <i>C. muridarum</i>, with olfactory glia showing less infection and stronger immune response than trigeminal glia.
Project description:Exploring the potential of eucalyptol as a masking agent for aversive odors, we found that eucalyptol masks the olfactory but not the trigeminal sensation of ammonia in a previous study. Here, we further investigate the processing of a mixture consisting of eucalyptol and ammonia, two olfactory-trigeminal stimuli. We presented the two pure odors and a mixture thereof to 33 healthy participants. The nostrils were stimulated alternately (monorhinal application). We analyzed the behavioral ratings (intensity and pleasantness) and functional brain images. First, we replicated our previous finding that, within the mixture, the eucalyptol component suppressed the olfactory intensity of the ammonia component. Second, mixture pleasantness was rated differently by participants depending on which component dominated their mixture perception. Approximately half of the volunteers rated the eucalyptol component as more intense and evaluated the mixture as pleasant (pleasant group). The other half rated the ammonia component as more intense and evaluated the mixture as unpleasant (unpleasant group). Third, these individual differences were also found in functional imaging data. Contrasting the mixture either to eucalyptol or to both single odors, neural activation was found in the unpleasant group only. Activation in the anterior insula and SII was interpreted as evidence for an attentional shift towards the potentially threatening mixture component ammonia and for trigeminal enhancement. In addition to insula and SII, further regions of the pain matrix were involved when assessing all participant responses to the mixture. Both a painful sensation and an attentional shift towards the unpleasant mixture component complicates the development of an efficient mask because a pleasant perception is an important requirement for malodor coverage.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Insects detect a multitude of odors using a broad array of phenotypically distinct olfactory organs referred to as olfactory sensilla. Each sensillum contains one to several sensory neurons and at least three support cells; these cells arise from mitotic activities from one or a small group of defined precursor cells. Sensilla phenotypes are defined by distinct morphologies, and specificities to specific odors; these are the consequence of developmental programs expressed by associated neurons and support cells, and by selection and expression of subpopulations of olfactory genes encoding such proteins as odor receptors, odorant binding proteins, and odor degrading enzymes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:We are investigating development of the olfactory epithelium of adult M. sexta, identifying events which might establish sensilla phenotypes. In the present study, antennal tissue was examined during the first three days of an 18 day development, a period when sensory mitotic activity was previously reported to occur. Each antenna develops as a cylinder with an outward facing sensory epithelium divided into approximately 80 repeat units or annuli. Mitotic proliferation of sensory cells initiated about 20-24 hrs after pupation (a.p.), in pre-existing zones of high density cells lining the proximal and distal borders of each annulus. These high density zones were observed as early as two hr. a.p., and expanded with mitotic activity to fill the mid-annular regions by about 72 hrs a.p. Mitotic activity initiated at a low rate, increasing dramatically after 40-48 hrs a.p.; this activity was enhanced by ecdysteroids, but did not occur in animals entering pupal diapause (which is also ecdysteroid sensitive). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Sensory proliferation initiates in narrow zones along the proximal and distal borders of each annulus; these zones rapidly expand to fill the mid-annular regions. These zones exist prior to any mitotic activity as regions of high density cells which form either at or prior to pupation. Mitotic sensitivity to ecdysteroids may be a regulatory mechanism coordinating olfactory development with the developmental choice of diapause entry.
Project description:Infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei causes melioidosis, a disease with a high mortality rate (20% in Australia and 40% in Southeast Asia). Neurological melioidosis is particularly prevalent in northern Australian patients and involves brain stem infection, which can progress to the spinal cord; however, the route by which the bacteria invade the central nervous system (CNS) is unknown. We have previously demonstrated that B. pseudomallei can infect the olfactory and trigeminal nerves within the nasal cavity following intranasal inoculation. As the trigeminal nerve projects into the brain stem, we investigated whether the bacteria could continue along this nerve to penetrate the CNS. After intranasal inoculation of mice, B. pseudomallei caused low-level localized infection within the nasal cavity epithelium, prior to invasion of the trigeminal nerve in small numbers. B. pseudomallei rapidly invaded the trigeminal nerve and crossed the astrocytic barrier to enter the brain stem within 24 h and then rapidly progressed over 2,000 ?m into the spinal cord. To rule out that the bacteria used a hematogenous route, we used a capsule-deficient mutant of B. pseudomallei that does not survive in the blood and found that it also entered the CNS via the trigeminal nerve. This suggests that the primary route of entry is via the nerves that innervate the nasal cavity. We found that actin-mediated motility could facilitate initial infection of the olfactory epithelium. Thus, we have demonstrated that B. pseudomallei can rapidly infect the brain and spinal cord via the trigeminal nerve branches that innervate the nasal cavity.
Project description:Peripheral nerve injury presents significant therapeutic challenges for recovery of motor and sensory function in patients. Different clinical approaches exist but to date there has been no consensus on the most effective method of treatment. Here, we investigate a novel approach to peripheral nerve repair using olfactory derived stem (ONS) cells delivered in a biphasic collagen and laminin functionalized hyaluronic acid based nerve guidance conduit (NGC). Nerve regeneration was studied across a 10-mm sciatic nerve gap in Sprague Dawley rats. The effect of ONS cell loading of NGCs with or without nerve growth factor (NGF) supplementation on nerve repair was compared to a cell-free NGC across a variety of clinical, functional, electrophysiological, and morphologic parameters. Animals implanted with ONS cell loaded NGCs demonstrated improved clinical and electrophysiological outcomes compared to cell free NGC controls. The nerves regenerated across ONS cell loaded NGCs contained significantly more axons than cell-free NGCs. A return of the nocioceptive withdrawal reflex in ONS cell treated animals indicated an advanced repair stage at a relatively early time point of 8 weeks post implantation. The addition of NGF further improved the outcomes of the repair indicating the potential beneficial effect of a combined stem cell/growth factor treatment strategy delivered on NGCs. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017;6:1894-1904.
Project description:Although the brain structures involved in integrating odorant and trigeminal stimuli are well-documented, there is still a need to clarify (1) how emotional response is represented in the human brain during cross-modal interaction between odors and trigeminal stimuli, and (2) whether the degree of congruency between the two types of stimuli influences these emotional responses and their neural processing. These questions were explored combining psychophysics, event-related potentials (ERP) and fMRI in the same group of 17 subjects under a "congruent condition" (intranasal carbon dioxide mixed with the smell of orange, a combination found in soda drinks, for example), and an "incongruent condition" (intranasal carbon dioxide mixed with the smell of rose, a combination not encountered in everyday life). Responses to the 3 constituent stimuli (carbon dioxide, orange, and rose) were also measured. Hedonic and intensity ratings were collected for all stimulations. The congruent bimodal stimulus was rated as more pleasant than the incongruent. This behavioral effect was associated with enhanced neural activity in the hippocampus and anterior cingulate gyrus, indicating that these brain areas mediate reactivation of pleasant and congruent olfactory-trigeminal associations.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>TRPA1 ion channels are involved in nociception and are also excited by pungent odorous substances. Based on reported associations of TRPA1 genetics with increased sensitivity to thermal pain stimuli, we therefore hypothesized that this association also exists for increased olfactory sensitivity.<h4>Methods</h4>Olfactory function and nociception was compared between carriers (n?=?38) and non-carriers (n?=?43) of TRPA1 variant rs11988795 G>A, a variant known to enhance cold pain perception. Olfactory function was quantified by assessing the odor threshold, odor discrimination and odor identification, and by applying 200-ms pulses of H2S intranasal. Nociception was assessed by measuring pain thresholds to experimental nociceptive stimuli (blunt pressure, electrical stimuli, cold and heat stimuli, and 200-ms intranasal pulses of CO2).<h4>Results</h4>Among the 11 subjects with moderate hyposmia, carriers of the minor A allele (n?=?2) were underrepresented (34 carriers among the 70 normosmic subjects; p?=?0.049). Moreover, carriers of the A allele discriminated odors significantly better than non-carriers (13.1±1.5 versus 12.3±1.6 correct discriminations) and indicated a higher intensity of the H2S stimuli (29.2±13.2 versus 21±12.8 mm VAS, p?=?0.006), which, however, could not be excluded to have involved a trigeminal component during stimulation. Finally, the increased sensitivity to thermal pain could be reproduced.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The findings are in line with a previous association of a human TRPA1 variant with nociceptive parameters and extend the association to the perception of odorants. However, this addresses mainly those stimulants that involve a trigeminal component whereas a pure olfactory effect may remain disputable. Nevertheless, findings suggest that future TRPA1 modulating drugs may modify the perception of odorants.
Project description:Olfactory and trigeminal chemosensory systems reside in parallel within the mammalian nose. Psychophysical studies in people indicate that these two systems interact at a perceptual level. Trigeminal sensations of pungency mask odour perception, while olfactory stimuli can influence trigeminal signal processing tasks such as odour localization. While imaging studies indicate overlap in limbic and cortical somatosensory areas activated by nasal trigeminal and olfactory stimuli, there is also potential cross-talk at the level of the olfactory epithelium, the olfactory bulb and trigeminal brainstem. Here we explored the influence of olfactory and trigeminal signaling in the nasal cavity. A forced choice water consumption paradigm was used to ascertain whether trigeminal and olfactory stimuli could influence behaviour in mice. Mice avoided water sources surrounded by both volatile TRPV1 (cyclohexanone) and TRPA1 (allyl isothiocyanate) irritants and the aversion to cyclohexanone was mitigated when combined with a pure odorant (rose fragrance, phenylethyl alcohol, PEA). To determine whether olfactory-trigeminal interactions within the nose could potentially account for this behavioural effect we recorded from single trigeminal sensory axons innervating the nasal respiratory and olfactory epithelium using an isolated in vitro preparation. To circumvent non-specific effects of chemical stimuli, optical stimulation was used to excite olfactory sensory neurons in mice expressing channel-rhodopsin (ChR2) under the olfactory marker protein (OMP) promoter. Photoactivation of olfactory sensory neurons produced no modulation of axonal action potential conduction in individual trigeminal axons. Similarly, no evidence was found for collateral branching of trigeminal axon that might serve as a conduit for cross-talk between the olfactory and respiratory epithelium and olfactory dura mater. Using direct assessment of action potential activity in trigeminal axons we observed neither paracrine nor axon reflex mediated cross-talk between olfactory and trigeminal sensory systems in the rodent nasal cavity. Our current results suggest that olfactory sensory neurons exert minimal influence on trigeminal signals within the nasal cavity.