Variable patterns of axonal projections of sensory neurons in the mouse vomeronasal system

Cell. 1999 Apr 16;97(2):199-208. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)80730-8.


The vomeronasal system mediates pheromonal effects in mammals. We have employed gene targeting technology to introduce mutations in a putative pheromone receptor gene, VR2, in the germline of mice. By generating alleles differentially tagged with the histological markers taulacZ and tauGFP, we show that VR2 is monoallelically expressed in a given neuron. Axons of VR2-expressing neurons converge onto numerous glomeruli in the accessory olfactory bulb. The pattern of axonal projections is complex and variable. This wiring diagram is substantially different from that of the main olfactory system. The projection pattern is disrupted by deleting the coding region of VR2, but an unrelated seven-transmembrane protein, the odorant receptor M71, can partially substitute for VR2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Axons / metabolism
  • Axons / ultrastructure*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Count
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / metabolism
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Targeting
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Heterozygote
  • Homozygote
  • Lac Operon
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / metabolism
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / ultrastructure*
  • Rats
  • Vomeronasal Organ / metabolism
  • Vomeronasal Organ / ultrastructure*


  • DNA Primers
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF132114