Commensal Bacteria Regulate Gene Expression and Differentiation in Vertebrate Olfactory Systems Through Transcription Factor REST.
ABSTRACT: Sensory systems such as the olfactory system detect chemical stimuli and thereby determine the relationships between the animal and its surroundings. Olfaction is one of the most conserved and ancient sensory systems in vertebrates. The vertebrate olfactory epithelium is colonized by complex microbial communities, but microbial contribution to host olfactory gene expression remains unknown. In this study, we show that colonization of germ-free zebrafish and mice with microbiota leads to widespread transcriptional responses in olfactory organs as measured in bulk tissue transcriptomics and RT-qPCR. Germ-free zebrafish olfactory epithelium showed defects in pseudostratification; however, the size of the olfactory pit and the length of the cilia were not different from that of colonized zebrafish. One of the mechanisms by which microbiota control host transcriptional programs is by differential expression and activity of specific transcription factors (TFs). REST (RE1 silencing transcription factor, also called NRSF) is a zinc finger TF that binds to the conserved motif repressor element 1 found in the promoter regions of many neuronal genes with functions in neuronal development and differentiation. Colonized zebrafish and mice showed increased nasal expression of REST, and genes with reduced expression in colonized animals were strongly enriched in REST-binding motifs. Nasal commensal bacteria promoted in vitro differentiation of Odora cells by regulating the kinetics of REST expression. REST knockdown resulted in decreased Odora cell differentiation in vitro. Our results identify a conserved mechanism by which microbiota regulate vertebrate olfactory transcriptional programs and reveal a new role for REST in sensory organs.
Project description:Olfactory systems are one of the most conserved and ancient sensory systems in vertebrates. The vertebrate olfactory epithelium is colonized by complex communities of commensal microorganisms, but their impact on olfactory epithelial development and function remains unknown. Using germ-free zebrafish model, we aim to understand the transcriptional responses that colonization with a microbiota induces in olfactory organs. This study was aimed to understand the changes in gene expression in the olfactory organ of Germ Free (GF) zebrafish compared to conventionalized (ConvD) zebrafish. This experiment is related to E-MTAB-5046 (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress/experiments/E-MTAB-5046)
Project description:Olfactory systems are one of the most conserved and ancient sensory systems in vertebrates. The vertebrate olfactory epithelium is colonized by complex communities of commensal microorganisms, but their impact on olfactory epithelial development and function remains unknown. Using germ-free mouse model, we aim to understand the transcriptional responses that colonization with a microbiota induces in olfactory organs. This study was aimed to understand the changes in gene expression in the nose of Germ Free (GF) mice compared to conventionalized (ConvD) mice. This experiment is related to E-MTAB-5045 (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress/experiments/E-MTAB-5045)
Project description:The mapping of high-dimensional olfactory stimuli onto the two-dimensional surface of the nasal sensory epithelium constitutes the first step in the neuronal encoding of olfactory input. We have used zebrafish as a model system to analyze the spatial distribution of odorant receptor molecules in the olfactory epithelium by quantitative in situ hybridization. To this end, we have cloned 10 very divergent zebrafish odorant receptor molecules by PCR. Individual genes are expressed in sparse olfactory receptor neurons. Analysis of the position of labeled cells in a simplified coordinate system revealed three concentric, albeit overlapping, expression domains for the four odorant receptors analyzed in detail. Such regionalized expression should result in a corresponding segregation of functional response properties. This might represent the first step of spatial encoding of olfactory input or be essential for the development of the olfactory system.
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:Zinc is both an essential and potentially toxic metal. It is widely believed that oral zinc supplementation can reduce the effects of the common cold; however, there is strong clinical evidence that intranasal (IN) zinc gluconate (ZG) gel treatment for this purpose causes anosmia, or the loss of the sense of smell, in humans. Using the rat olfactory neuron cell line, Odora, we investigated the molecular mechanism by which zinc exposure exerts its toxic effects on olfactory neurons. Following treatment of Odora cells with 100 and 200?M ZG for 0-24h, RNA-seq and in silico analyses revealed up-regulation of pathways associated with zinc metal response, oxidative stress, and ATP production. We observed that Odora cells recovered from zinc-induced oxidative stress, but ATP depletion persisted with longer exposure to ZG. ZG exposure increased levels of NLRP3 and IL-1? protein levels in a time-dependent manner, suggesting that zinc exposure may cause an inflammasome-mediated cell death, pyroptosis, in olfactory neurons.
Project description:Forkhead box protein J1 (FOXJ1), a member of the forkhead family transcription factors, is a transcriptional regulator of motile ciliogenesis. The nasal respiratory epithelium, but not olfactory epithelium, is lined with FOXJ1-expressing multiciliated epithelial cells with motile cilia. In a transgenic mouse where an enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) transgene is driven by the human FOXJ1 promoter, robust eGFP expression is observed not only in the multiciliated cells of the respiratory epithelium but in a distinctive small subset of olfactory sensory neurons in the olfactory epithelium. These eGFP-positive cells lie at the extreme apical part of the neuronal layer and are most numerous in dorsal-medial regions of olfactory epithelium. Interestingly, we observed a corresponding small number of glomeruli in the olfactory bulb wherein eGFP-labeled axons terminate, suggesting that the population of eGFP+ receptor cells expresses a limited number of olfactory receptors. Similarly, a subset of vomeronasal sensory neurons expresses eGFP and is distributed throughout the full height of the vomeronasal sensory epithelium. In keeping with this broad distribution of labeled vomeronasal receptor cells, eGFP-labeled axons terminate in many glomeruli in both anterior and posterior portions of the accessory olfactory bulb. These findings suggest that Foxj1-driven eGFP marks a specific population of olfactory and vomeronasal sensory neurons, although neither receptor cell population possess motile cilia.
Project description:We compared gene expression in the small intestine (ileum) of mice that were either (i) germ-free, (ii) colonized with a conventional mouse cecal microbiota, (iii) colonized with a conventional zebrafish gut microbiota, or (iv) colonized with Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. Experiment Overall Design: Adult germ-free NMRI mice were colonized with either (i) a conventional mouse cecal microbiota harvested from adult Swiss-Webster mice (5 biological replicates), (ii) a conventional zebrafish intestinal microbiota harvested from adult C32 zebrafish (3 biological replicates), or (iii) a culture of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 (5 biological replicates). 14 days after colonization, total RNA was prepared from the ileum of each animal, with total RNA prepared from adult germ-free NMRI mouse ileum serving as negative controls (5 biological replicates). RNA was used as template to generate cRNA for hybridization to Affymetrix 430 v2 Mouse GeneChips.
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.
Project description:Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons, part of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, regulate reproduction. Prenatally, GnRH neurons migrate into the brain from the nasal placode along terminal nerve fibers, intermixed with olfactory sensory axons and olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs). An expression analysis from embryonic GnRH neurons identified the G protein-coupled receptor 37 (GPR37 or PAEL-r). GPR37 has been linked to (1) juvenile Parkinson's disease in humans, (2) oligodendrocyte differentiation, and (3) Wnt/?-catenin signaling during neurogenesis. In this study, the role of GPR37 was investigated in the developing GnRH/olfactory system. PCR and immunocytochemistry confirmed expression of GPR37 in migrating GnRH neurons as well as in OECs. Inhibition of GPR37 signaling in nasal explants attenuated GnRH neuronal migration and OEC movement. Examination of GPR37 deficient mice revealed a decrease in the olfactory bulb nerve layer and attenuated/delayed maturation and migration of GnRH neurons into the brain. These data demonstrate a developmental role for GPR37 signaling in neural migration. Significance Statement:Reproduction is controlled by gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons located in the central nervous system. Embryonically, GnRH neurons originate in the nasal/olfactory placode and migrate into the brain on axonal tracks from cells in the vomeronasal organ, intermixed with olfactory sensory axons and olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs). An expression analysis from embryonic GnRH neurons identified the G protein-coupled receptor 37. Here we show that inhibition of GPR37 signaling in nasal explants and mutant mice attenuated GnRH neuronal migration. Signaling via GPR37 also perturbed OEC movement, resulting in a decrease in the olfactory bulb nerve layer in vivo. Together, these results identify a new role for GPR37 signaling during development - modulating cell migration.
Project description:Background: Small ungulates (sheep and goat) display a seasonal breeding, characterised by successive periods of sexual activity (SA) and sexual rest (SR). In sexual activity period the ovarian cycle of females is active and ready for reproduction (oestrus) whereas in sexual rest no ovulation and reproduction are possible (deep anoestrus). Odours emitted by a sexually active male can reactivate the ovarian cycle of anoestrus females. The plasticity of the olfactory system under these hormonal changes has never been explored at the peripheral level of odours reception. As it was shown in pig that the olfactory secretome (proteins secreted in the nasal mucus) could be modified under hormonal control, we monitored its composition in females of both species along several seasons, thanks to a non-invasive sampling of olfactory mucus. Results: In both species the olfactory secretome is composed of isoforms of OBP-like proteins, generated by post-translational modifications, phosphorylation, N-glycosylation and O-GlcNAcylation. Important changes were observed in the olfactory secretome between the sexual rest and the sexual activity periods, characterised in ewe by the specific expression of SAL-like proteins and the emergence of OBPs O-GlcNAcylation. In Goat, the differences between SA and SR did not come from new proteins expression, but from different post-translational modifications, the main difference between the SA and SR secretome being the number of isoforms of each protein. Conclusion: Despite common behaviour, seasonal breeding, and genetic resources, the two species seem to adapt their sensory equipment in SA by different modalities: the variation of olfactory secretome in ewe could correspond to a specialization to detect male odours only in SA, whereas in goat the stability of the olfactory secretome could indicate a constant capacity of odours detection suggesting that the hallmark of SA in goat could be the emission of specific odours by the sexually active male.