Transcriptome Analysis of Murine Olfactory Sensory Neurons during Development Using Single Cell RNA-Seq

Chem Senses. 2016 May;41(4):313-23. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjw003. Epub 2016 Feb 2.


Mammalian odor reception is achieved by highly specialized olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) located in the nasal cavity. Despite their importance for the daily survival of most mammals, the gene expression and regulatory profiles of these single neurons are poorly understood. Here, we report the isolation of individual GFP-labeled OSNs from Olfr73-GFP mice at different developmental stages followed by Next Generation Sequencing, thereby analyzing the detailed transcriptome for the first time. We characterized the repertoire of olfactory receptors (ORs) and found that in addition to the highly and predominant detectable Olfr73, 20 additional ORs were stably detectable at lower transcript levels in adult mice. Additionally, OSNs collected from mice of earlier developmental stages did not show any stable OR patterns. However, more than one predominant OR per OSN was detectable.

Keywords: development; olfaction; olfactory receptors; single cell; transcriptome analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / metabolism*
  • RNA / chemistry
  • RNA / metabolism*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Single-Cell Analysis


  • RNA