The Protocadherin-Alpha Family Is Involved in Axonal Coalescence of Olfactory Sensory Neurons Into Glomeruli of the Olfactory Bulb in Mouse

Mol Cell Neurosci. 2008 May;38(1):66-79. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2008.01.016. Epub 2008 Feb 13.


Olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) that express the same odorant receptor project their axons to specific glomeruli in the main olfactory bulb. Protocadherin-alpha (Pcdha) proteins, diverse cadherin-related molecules that are encoded as a gene cluster, are highly concentrated in OSN axons and olfactory glomeruli. Here, we describe Pcdha mutant mice, in which the constant region of the Pcdha gene cluster has been deleted by gene targeting. The mutant mice show abnormal sorting of OSN axons into glomeruli. There are multiple, small, extraneous glomeruli for the odorant receptors M71 and MOR23. These abnormal patterns of M71 and MOR23 glomeruli persist until adulthood. Many M71 glomeruli, but apparently not MOR23 glomeruli, are heterogeneous in axonal innervation. Thus, Pcdha molecules are involved in coalescence of OSN axons into OR-specific glomeruli of the olfactory bulb.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Cadherins / physiology*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Targeting
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Multigene Family / physiology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology
  • Olfactory Bulb / growth & development*
  • Olfactory Pathways / cytology
  • Olfactory Pathways / growth & development*
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / cytology
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / growth & development*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics
  • Receptors, Odorant / physiology


  • Cadherins
  • Olfr151 protein, mouse
  • Olfr16 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Odorant