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Science. 2014 Apr 11;344(6180):194-7. doi: 10.1126/science.1248805.

A developmental switch of axon targeting in the continuously regenerating mouse olfactory system.

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Stowers Institute for Medical Research, 1000 East 50th Street, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA.


The mammalian olfactory system has the natural capacity to regenerate throughout the animal's life span. Despite constant neurogenesis, olfactory sensory neurons project to precise, stereotypical positions in the brain. Here, we identify a critical period of olfactory sensory axon targeting during postnatal development in mouse. Perturbing axon projection beyond postnatal day 7 permanently disrupts targeting specificity of the sensory neurons. In addition, we find that the establishment of the convergence map requires perinatal sensory neurons. Late-born neurons appear to connect with prospective glomeruli based on homotypic interactions among neurons expressing the same odorant receptor. Our results reveal a developmental switch in axon guidance and a mechanism of circuit integration of adult-born neurons.

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