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J Neurosci Res. 1995 Jan 1;40(1):54-71.

Differential expression of vomeromodulin and odorant-binding protein, putative pheromone and odorant transporters, in the developing rat nasal chemosensory mucosae.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington 40536.


Expression of the putative pheromone and odorant transporter, vomeromodulin, was characterized in developing rat nasal mucosae using in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry. Initial expression of vomeromodulin mRNA and protein was detected at embryonic day (E)16 in the maxillary sinus component of the lateral nasal glands. The abundance of mRNA and protein in the lateral nasal glands increased with age and reached a peak at postnatal day (P)27. Also at P27, vomeromodulin mRNA and protein expression was initiated in vomeronasal glands and posterior glands of the nasal septum. Comparison of the developmental expression of odorant-binding protein, another carrier protein synthesized in the lateral nasal glands, with that of vomeromodulin demonstrated major differences. In contrast to vomeromodulin, odorant-binding protein was not detected until postnatal day 2 in the ventral component of the lateral nasal glands and anterior glands of the nasal septum. These results suggest that the expression of vomeromodulin and odorant-binding protein is developmentally and differentially regulated and confirms the suggestion that vomeromodulin may function in olfactory and vomeronasal perireceptor processes as a transporter for pheromones and odorants. In addition, the embryonic expression of vomeromodulin suggests its involvement in olfactory perireceptor processes in utero.

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