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J Comp Neurol. 2005 Mar 14;483(3):251-62.

Differentially expressed transcripts from phenotypically identified olfactory sensory neurons.

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Department of Physiology and The Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience of Sensory Systems Program, The University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40536-0298, USA.


In comparing purified mouse olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) with neighboring cells, we identified 54 differentially expressed transcripts. One-third of the transcripts encode proteins with no known function, but the others have functions that correlate with challenges faced by OSNs. The OSNs expressed a diversity of signaling protein genes, including stomatin (Epb7.2), S100A5, Ddit3, Sirt2, CD81, Sdc2, Omp, and Ptpla. The elaboration of dendrites, cilia, and axons that places OSNs in contact with diverse cell types and signals presumably also requires large investments in cytoskeletal-associated proteins, lipid biosynthesis, and energy production. Several of the genes encode proteins that participate in these biological processes, including ATP5g3, Ndufa9, Sqrdl, Mdh1, Got1, beta-2 tubulin, Capza1, Bin3, Tom1, Acl6, and similar to O-MACS. Three transcripts had restricted expression patterns. Similar to O-MACS and Gstm2 had zonally restricted expression patterns in OSNs and sustentacular cells but not in Bowman's glands, suggesting that zonality can be differentially regulated by cell type. The mosaic expression pattern of S100A5 in approximately 70% of OSNs predicts that it is coexpressed with a subset of odorant receptors. We captured four abundant transcripts, Cyp2a4, similar to Cyp2g1, Gstm2, and Cbr2, that encode xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes expressed by sustentacular cells or Bowman's glands, reinforcing the interpretation that clearance of xenobiotic compounds is a major function of these cells. Within the olfactory epithelium, Cbr2 is a new anatomical marker for sustentacular cells. We also discovered that Reg3g is a marker for respiratory epithelium.

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