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Nat Commun. 2018 Dec 4;9(1):5081. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07120-1.

Sex separation induces differences in the olfactory sensory receptor repertoires of male and female mice.

Author information

1
Neuroscience Program, Department of Zoology & Physiology, University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Avenue, Laramie, WY, 82071, USA.
2
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA.
3
Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University, 7 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA.
4
Neuroscience Program, Department of Zoology & Physiology, University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Avenue, Laramie, WY, 82071, USA. ssantoro@uwyo.edu.

Abstract

Within the mammalian olfactory sensory epithelium, experience-dependent changes in the rate of neuronal turnover can alter the relative abundance of neurons expressing specific chemoreceptors. Here we investigate how the mouse olfactory sensory receptor repertoire changes as a function of exposure to odors emitted from members of the opposite sex, which are highly complex and sexually dimorphic. Upon housing mice either sex-separated or sex-combined until six months of age, we find that sex-separated mice exhibit significantly more numerous differentially expressed genes within their olfactory epithelia. A subset of these chemoreceptors exhibit altered expression frequencies following both sex-separation and olfactory deprivation. We show that several of these receptors detect either male- or female-specific odors. We conclude that the distinct odor experiences of sex-separated male and female mice induce sex-specific differences in the abundance of neurons that detect sexually dimorphic odors.

PMID:
30514924
PMCID:
PMC6279840
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-07120-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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