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Nat Commun. 2017 Jul 21;8:15977. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15977.

Nrp2 is sufficient to instruct circuit formation of mitral-cells to mediate odour-induced attractive social responses.

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Department of Brain Function, School of Medical Science, University of Fukui, Fukui 910-1193, Japan.
Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan.
Department of Pharmacology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033, USA.
Department of Neurochemistry, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.
Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5201, Japan.


Odour information induces various innate responses that are critical to the survival of the individual and for the species. An axon guidance molecule, Neuropilin 2 (Nrp2), is known to mediate targeting of olfactory sensory neurons (primary neurons), to the posteroventral main olfactory bulb (PV MOB) in mice. Here we report that Nrp2-positive (Nrp2+) mitral cells (MCs, second-order neurons) play crucial roles in transmitting attractive social signals from the PV MOB to the anterior part of medial amygdala (MeA). Semaphorin 3F, a repulsive ligand to Nrp2, regulates both migration of Nrp2+ MCs to the PV MOB and their axonal projection to the anterior MeA. In the MC-specific Nrp2 knockout mice, circuit formation of Nrp2+ MCs and odour-induced attractive social responses are impaired. In utero, electroporation demonstrates that activation of the Nrp2 gene in MCs is sufficient to instruct their circuit formation from the PV MOB to the anterior MeA.

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