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J Proteome Res. 2008 Apr;7(4):1594-605. doi: 10.1021/pr7005796. Epub 2008 Mar 13.

New insight into stimulus-induced plasticity of the olfactory epithelium in Mus musculus by quantitative proteomics.

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Medizinisches Proteom-Center, Ruhr-University Bochum, Universitätsstrasse 150, 44780 Bochum, Germany.


The olfactory system is exposed to a plethora of chemical compounds throughout an organism's lifespan. Anticipation of stimuli and construction of appropriate neural filters present a significant challenge. This may be addressed via modulation of the protein composition of the sensory epithelium in response to environmental conditions. To reveal the mechanisms governing these changes, we employed a comprehensive quantitative proteomics strategy. Two groups of juvenile mice were treated with either pulsed or continuous application of octanal. After 20 days of treatment, we performed a behavioral study and conducted electrophysiological recordings from the olfactory epithelium (OE). Both treated groups demonstrated peripheral desensitization to octanal; however, only the 'continuous' group exhibited habituation. To obtain novel insight into the molecular mechanisms underpinning the peripheral desensitization to octanal, the OE proteomes of octanal-treated mice versus control were quantitatively analyzed using two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis. We identified several significantly regulated proteins that were functionally classified as calcium-binding proteins, cytoskeletal proteins, and lipocalins. The calcium-binding proteins and cytoskeletal proteins were up-regulated in the 'pulsed' group, whereas in the 'continuous' group, four lipocalins were significantly down-regulated. Uniquely, the lipocalin odorant-binding protein Ia was drastically down-regulated in both groups. The identified proteins reflect changes throughout the entire OE, corresponding to changes in neuronal, non-neuronal, and pericellular processes. We report the regulation of several promising candidates for the investigation of odorant-induced changes of the OE. Among these proteins are different lipocalins, which seem to play a crucial role in the regulation of the sensitivity of the olfactory system.

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