Grueneberg ganglion olfactory subsystem employs a cGMP signaling pathway.
The mammalian olfactory sense employs several olfactory subsystems situated at characteristic locations in the nasal cavity to detect and report on different classes of odors. These olfactory subsystems use different neuronal signal transduction pathways, receptor expression repertoires, and axonal projection targets. The Grueneberg ganglion (GG) is a newly appreciated olfactory subsystem with receptor neurons located just inside of the nostrils that project axons to a unique domain of interconnected glomeruli in the caudal olfactory bulb. It is not well understood how the GG relates to other olfactory subsystems in contributing to the olfactory sense. Furthermore, the range of chemoreceptors and the signal transduction cascade utilized by the GG have remained mysterious. To resolve these unknowns, we explored the molecular relationship between the GG and the GC-D neurons, another olfactory subsystem that innervates similarly interconnected glomeruli in the same bulbar region. We found that mouse GG neurons express the cGMP-associated signaling proteins phosphodiesterase 2a, cGMP-dependent kinase II, and cyclic nucleotide gated channel subunit A3 coupled to a chemoreceptor repertoire of cilia-localized particulate guanylyl cyclases (pGC-G and pGC-A). The primary cGMP signaling pathway of the GG is shared with the GC-D neurons, unifying their target glomeruli as a unique center of olfactory cGMP signal transduction. However, the distinct chemoreceptor repertoire in the GG suggests that the GG is an independent olfactory subsystem. This subsystem is well suited to detect a unique set of odors and to mediate behaviors that remained intact in previous olfactory perturbations.
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