A multireceptor genetic approach uncovers an ordered integration of VNO sensory inputs in the accessory olfactory bulb

Neuron. 2006 Jun 1;50(5):697-709. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2006.04.033.


Pheromone detection by the vomeronasal organ (VNO) is thought to rely on activation of specific receptors from the V1R and V2R gene families, but the central representation of pheromone receptor activation remains poorly understood. We generated transgenic mouse lines in which projections from multiple populations of VNO neurons, each expressing a distinct V1R, are differentially labeled with fluorescent proteins. This approach revealed that inputs from neurons expressing closely related V1Rs intermingle within shared, spatially conserved domains of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB). Mitral cell-glomerular connectivity was examined by injecting intracellular dyes into AOB mitral cells and monitoring dendritic contacts with genetically labeled glomeruli. We show that individual mitral cells extend dendrites to glomeruli associated with different, but likely closely related, V1Rs. This organization differs from the labeled line of OR signaling in the main olfactory system and suggests that integration of information may already occur at the level of the AOB.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cell Line
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Neurons, Afferent / ultrastructure
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Olfactory Pathways / cytology
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Receptors, Pheromone / chemistry
  • Receptors, Pheromone / genetics*
  • Receptors, Pheromone / metabolism*
  • Smell / physiology*
  • Vomeronasal Organ / cytology
  • Vomeronasal Organ / physiology*


  • Receptors, Pheromone