Herding Olfactory Axons

Science's STKE  31 Oct 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 359, pp. tw372
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3592006tw372

In the mammalian olfactory system, sensory neurons each express only one odorant receptor, and the axons from neurons that express the same odorant receptor somehow manage to converge on a single glomerulus in the brain. Imai et al. have now brought both clarity and complexity to the problem. Although axon guidance was thought to depend solely on the odorant receptor, it now seems that a separate signaling system involving cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) contributes to guiding axons to a general position along the anterior-posterior axis.

T. Imai, M. Suzuki, H. Sakano, Odorant receptor-derived cAMP signals direct axonal targeting. Science 314, 657-661 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]

C. Dulac, Charting olfactory maps. Science 314, 606-607 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]