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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2015 Mar;65:114-24. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2015.02.012. Epub 2015 Feb 19.

Trpc2-expressing sensory neurons in the mouse main olfactory epithelium of type B express the soluble guanylate cyclase Gucy1b2.

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Max Planck Research Unit for Neurogenetics, Frankfurt, Germany.
Max Planck Research Unit for Neurogenetics, Frankfurt, Germany. Electronic address:


Chemoreception in the mouse olfactory system occurs primarily at two chemosensory epithelia in the nasal cavity: the main olfactory epithelium (MOE) and the vomeronasal epithelium. The canonical chemosensory neurons in the MOE, the olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs), express the odorant receptor (OR) gene repertoire, and depend on Adcy3 and Cnga2 for chemosensory signal transduction. The canonical chemosensory neurons in the vomeronasal epithelium, the vomeronasal sensory neurons (VSNs), express two unrelated vomeronasal receptor (VR) gene repertoires, and involve Trpc2 for chemosensory signal transduction. Recently we reported the discovery of two types of neurons in the mouse MOE that express Trcp2 in addition to Cnga2. These cell types can be distinguished at the single-cell level by expression of Adcy3: positive, type A and negative, type B. Some type A cells express OR genes. Thus far there is no specific gene or marker for type B cells, hampering further analyses such as physiological recordings. Here, we show that among MOE cells, type B cells are unique in their expression of the soluble guanylate cyclase Gucy1b2. We came across Gucy1b2 in an explorative approach based on Long Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (LongSAGE) that we applied to single red-fluorescent cells isolated from whole olfactory mucosa and vomeronasal organ of mice of a novel Trcp2-IRES-taumCherry gene-targeted strain. The generation of a novel Gucy1b2-IRES-tauGFP gene-targeted strain enabled us to visualize coalescence of axons of type B cells into glomeruli in the main olfactory bulb. Our molecular and anatomical analyses define Gucy1b2 as a marker for type B cells within the MOE. The Gucy1b2-IRES-tauGFP strain will be useful for physiological, molecular, cellular, and anatomical studies of this newly described chemosensory subsystem.


Cyclic-nucleotide gated channel; Guanylate cyclase; Main olfactory epithelium; Trp channel; Vomeronasal epithelium

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