Investigating Axonal Pathfinding in the Accessory Olfactory System

Revealing the effects of TMEM16 on vomeronasal sensory neurons density using light sheet microscopy for imaging of cleared VNOs and parts of the brain

Microscopic images of GFP labelled vomeronasal sensory neuron axons forming glomeruli in the accessory olfactory bulb. Images acquired with a Digital LightSheet microscope from Leica Microsystems. Vomeronasal_sensory_neuron_axons_forming_glomeruli_in_the_accessory_olfactory_bulb_teaser.jpg

Various mammalian species use the accessory olfactory system (AOS) to gather information about their environment, conspecifics, and enemies. The AOS consists of the vomeronasal organ (VNO), harboring numerous vomeronasal sensory neurons (VSNs), and the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB). VSNs detect semiochemicals present in most bodily fluids and translate their information via a complex signaling cascade into a bioelectrical signal. This signal is first processed within the AOB.

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Hernandez-Clavijo A, Sarno N, Gonzalez-Velandia KY, Degen R, Fleck D, Rock JR, Spehr M, Menini A and Pifferi S:

TMEM16A and TMEM16B Modulate Pheromone-Evoked Action Potential Firing in Mouse Vomeronasal Sensory Neurons

eNeuro 25 August 2021, 8 (5) ENEURO.0179-21.2021; DOI:

Hernandez-Clavijo et. al. investigated the importance of TMEM16A, a calcium-activated chloride channel, for axonal pathfinding between the VNO and AOB and its effect on VSN density within the VNO. Whole VNOs and parts of the brain containing the AOB were cleared using CLARITY and imaged with a Leica digital light-sheet microscope. While a TMEM16A-ko influenced the electrical activity of VSNs, no effect was observed on VSN density or axonal pathfinding in the investigated VSN population.

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