In the mouse olfactory system, the axons of olfactory sensory neurons that express the same type of odorant receptor (OR) converge to a specific set of glomeruli in the olfactory bulb (OB). It is widely accepted that expressed OR molecules instruct glomerular segregation by regulating the expression of axon-sorting molecules. Although the relationship between the expression of axon-sorting molecules and OR types has been analyzed in detail, those between the expressions of axon-sorting molecules remain to be elucidated. Here we collected the expression profiles of four axon-sorting molecules from a large number of glomeruli in the OB. These molecules demonstrated position-independent mosaic expressions, but their patterns were not identical in the OB. Comparing their expressions identified positive and negative correlations between several pairs of genes even though they showed various expressions. Furthermore, the principal component analysis revealed that the factor loadings in the principal component 1, which explain the largest amount of variation, were most likely to reflect the degree of the cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channel dependence on the expression of axon-sorting molecules. Thus, neural activity generated through the CNG channel is a major component in the generation of a wide variety of expressions of axon-sorting molecules in glomerular segregation.
Keywords: axon guidance; gene expression; neural activity; neural circuit formation; olfactory system.
© 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.