Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Odorants enhance survival of olfactory neurons

25.03.2004


A new study finds that the olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) exhibit activity-dependent survival, a property that may be critical for an animal’s ability to maximize and retain responsiveness to crucial odorants in its environment. The research, published in the March 25 issue of Neuron, finds that a molecular signaling pathway linked to neuronal survival in the central nervous system plays a significant role in odor-induced enhancement of olfactory cell survival.



It is well known that the olfactory epithelium can adapt in the very short term to odorant stimulation by receptor desensitization and habituation. However, the ability of odorants to stimulate long-lasting changes in OSNs has been suggested but not clearly elucidated. Dr. Daniel R. Storm and colleagues from The University of Washington in Seattle developed a novel method to monitor the survival of OSNs after stimulation with odorants and to examine the signaling pathways required for cell survival. OSNs were labeled using a sophisticated noninvasive adenovirus technique. Exposure to odorants enhanced the survival of subpopulations of unperturbed neurons and neurons that were exposed to a stimulus that normally causes cell death. Further investigation revealed that the ERK/MAP kinase/CREB pathway is directly involved in odorant-stimulated rescue of OSNs.

The researchers conclude that OSNs are capable of dynamic long-term adjustment to sensory information in the environment. This is significant for animals because the persistence of odorant-detecting cells would be dictated by odorants encountered in the environment, some of which might be critical for survival. These results are also important for humans. "The identification of a chemical pathway that protects olfactory sensory neurons from cell death has important medical implications since olfactory sensory neurons die during a number of conditions including sinusitis and head injury. In addition, we lose about 1% of our sense of smell per year as we age, and olfaction loss is associated with several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The data in this paper suggests that drugs that activate the Erk/MAP kinase pathway may be used to protect olfactory sensory neurons from cell death associated with sinusitis, head injury, aging, and neurodegenerative diseases," explains Dr. Storm.


William C. Watt, Hitomi Sakano, Zong-Yi Lee, Jane E. Reusch, Kien Trinh and Daniel R. Storm: "Odorant Stimulation Enhances Survival of Olfactory Sensory Neurons via MAPK and CREB"


Published in Neuron, Volume 41, Number 6, 25 March 2004

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cell.com/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>