Odorant receptors govern the formation of a precise topographic map

Cell. 1998 Apr 3;93(1):47-60. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)81145-9.


Olfactory neurons expressing a given odorant receptor project with precision to 2 of the 1800 glomeruli within the olfactory bulb to create a topographic map of odor quality. We demonstrate that deletions or nonsense mutations in the P2 odorant receptor gene cause the axons of these cells to wander rather than converge on a specific glomerulus. Receptor substitution experiments that replace the P2 gene with the coding region of the P3 gene result in the projection of P3-->P2 axons to a glomerulus touching the wild-type P3 glomerulus. These data, along with additional receptor substitutions, indicate that the odorant receptor plays an instructive role in the establishment of the topographic map.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Nasal Mucosa / innervation
  • Nasal Mucosa / physiology
  • Odorants*
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / physiology*
  • Receptors, Odorant / deficiency*
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics
  • Receptors, Odorant / physiology*
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • beta-Galactosidase / biosynthesis


  • Receptors, Odorant
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • beta-Galactosidase