In this study we have identified a repertoire of chemosensory receptors expressed in the septal organ (SO). The results suggest that septal organ neurons are specified to express receptor genes belonging to class II olfactory receptors that are also expressed in the main olfactory epithelium. We found no evidence for the expression of members from the vomeronasal receptor gene families. In the SO, no topography analogous to the receptor expression zones of the main olfactory epithelium was evident. The majority of identified receptors corresponds to genes with restricted expression in the medial and lateral zones of the main olfactory epithelium. This coincides with the expression of olfactory cell adhesion molecule (OCAM) throughout the SO, which is considered as a marker for the medial-lateral zones. In contrast, NADPH:quinone oxidoreductase 1 expression, a characteristic marker for the dorsal zone, was lacking in the SO. Most of the receptor types were found to be expressed in rather few SO neurons; as an exception, the receptor mOR244-3 was observed in a very high proportion of cells. Although a very high fraction of SO neurons expressed mOR244-3, we found no evidence for the coexpression of different receptors in individual cells.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.