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 Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>