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Cell. 2003 Aug 8;114(3):311-22.

Axonal ephrin-As and odorant receptors: coordinate determination of the olfactory sensory map.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Olfactory sensory neurons expressing a given odorant receptor (OR) project with precision to specific glomeruli in the olfactory bulb, generating a topographic map. In this study, we demonstrate that neurons expressing different ORs express different levels of ephrin-A protein on their axons. Moreover, alterations in the level of ephrin-A alter the glomerular map. Deletion of the ephrin-A5 and ephrin-A3 genes posteriorizes the glomerular locations for neurons expressing either the P2 or SR1 receptor, whereas overexpression of ephrin-A5 in P2 neurons results in an anterior shift in their glomeruli. Thus the ephrin-As are differentially expressed in distinct subpopulations of neurons and are likely to participate, along with the ORs, as one of a complement of guidance receptors governing the targeting of like axons to precise locations in the olfactory bulb.

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