Role of Olf-1 and Pax-6 transcription factors in neurodevelopment

J Neurosci. 1996 Aug 15;16(16):5082-94. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.16-16-05082.1996.


The Olf-1 transcription factor is expressed in olfactory sensory neurons where it regulates the expression of genes that encode components of the odorant signal transduction cascade and contributes to the terminal phenotype of these sensory neurons. We examined the pattern of expression of Olf-1 protein during mouse embryogenesis and observed Olf-1 expression transiently in a subset of neural precursor cells in the CNS and peripheral nervous system. The expression of Olf-1 protein was enriched in sensory components and coincided with postmitotic cells and the initiation of overt differentiation within the nervous system. The spatial and temporal patterns of Olf-1 expression during development suggest a role in neurogenesis that is common among different neural cell types. In parallel, the expression pattern of Pax-6, a transcription factor that is widely expressed in the developing nervous system, including the visual and olfactory systems, was examined with a C-terminal antibody. In the retina, Pax-6 protein is detected in the lens, the cornea, and the neural and pigmented retinas. In the olfactory epithelium, Pax-6 protein is expressed exclusively in cells of non-neuronal lineage, including sustentacular cells, basal cells, and Bowman's glands. The nonoverlapping, cellular localization patterns of Pax-6 and Olf-1 demarcate distinct cell lineages within the developing olfactory epithelium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / growth & development
  • Animals, Newborn / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Central Nervous System / embryology
  • Central Nervous System / growth & development
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Eye Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins*
  • Mice / embryology
  • Mitosis
  • Nervous System / embryology*
  • Nervous System / growth & development*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism
  • Olfactory Mucosa / cytology
  • Olfactory Mucosa / embryology
  • Olfactory Mucosa / metabolism
  • PAX6 Transcription Factor
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • Peripheral Nerves / embryology
  • Peripheral Nerves / growth & development
  • Peripheral Nerves / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Retina / embryology
  • Spinal Cord / cytology
  • Spinal Cord / embryology
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism
  • Trans-Activators / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ebf1 protein, mouse
  • Eye Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • PAX6 Transcription Factor
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • Pax6 protein, mouse
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors