Odorant receptors in the formation of the olfactory bulb circuitry

Physiology (Bethesda). 2012 Aug;27(4):200-12. doi: 10.1152/physiol.00015.2012.


In mammals, smell is mediated by odorant receptors expressed by sensory neurons in the nose. These specialized receptors are found both on olfactory sensory neurons' cilia and axon terminals. Although the primary function of ciliary odorant receptors is to detect odorants, their axonal role remains unclear but is thought to involve axon guidance. This review discusses findings that show axonal odorant receptors are indeed functional and capable of modulating neural connectivity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / physiology*
  • Receptors, Odorant / physiology*
  • Smell / physiology*


  • Receptors, Odorant