An IP3R3- and NPY-expressing microvillous cell mediates tissue homeostasis and regeneration in the mouse olfactory epithelium

PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e58668. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058668. Epub 2013 Mar 13.


Calcium-dependent release of neurotrophic factors plays an important role in the maintenance of neurons, yet the release mechanisms are understudied. The inositol triphosphate (IP3) receptor is a calcium release channel that has a physiological role in cell growth, development, sensory perception, neuronal signaling and secretion. In the olfactory system, the IP3 receptor subtype 3 (IP3R3) is expressed exclusively in a microvillous cell subtype that is the predominant cell expressing neurotrophic factor neuropeptide Y (NPY). We hypothesized that IP3R3-expressing microvillous cells secrete sufficient NPY needed for both the continual maintenance of the neuronal population and for neuroregeneration following injury. We addressed this question by assessing the release of NPY and the regenerative capabilities of wild type, IP3R3(+/-), and IP3R3(-/-) mice. Injury, simulated using extracellular ATP, induced IP3 receptor-mediated NPY release in wild-type mice. ATP-evoked NPY release was impaired in IP3R3(-/-) mice, suggesting that IP3R3 contributes to NPY release following injury. Under normal physiological conditions, both IP3R3(-/-) mice and explants from these mice had fewer progenitor cells that proliferate and differentiate into immature neurons. Although the number of mature neurons and the in vivo rate of proliferation were not altered, the proliferative response to the olfactotoxicant satratoxin G and olfactory bulb ablation injury was compromised in the olfactory epithelium of IP3R3(-/-) mice. The reductions in both NPY release and number of progenitor cells in IP3R3(-/-) mice point to a role of the IP3R3 in tissue homeostasis and neuroregeneration. Collectively, these data suggest that IP3R3 expressing microvillous cells are actively responsive to injury and promote recovery.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Homeostasis*
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors / deficiency
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors / genetics
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism*
  • Olfactory Mucosa / cytology*
  • Olfactory Mucosa / injuries
  • Olfactory Mucosa / metabolism
  • Olfactory Mucosa / physiology*
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2Y2 / metabolism
  • Regeneration*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism


  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2Y2