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We have developed a genetic approach to examine the role of spontaneous activity and synaptic release in the establishment and maintenance of an olfactory sensory map. Conditional expression of tetanus toxin light chain, a molecule that inhibits synaptic release, does not perturb targeting during development, but neurons that express this molecule in a(More)
We have used gene targeting to generate mice with a homozygous deficiency in trp2, a cation channel expressed in the vomeronasal organ (VNO). Trp2 mutant animals reveal a striking reduction in the electrophysiological response to pheromones in the VNO, suggesting that trp2 plays a central role in mediating the pheromone response. These mutants therefore(More)
Ligand-gated ion channels are multi-subunit complexes where each subunit-type is encoded by several related genes. Heterologous expression of any one of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) alpha-type subunits, either alone or with any beta-type subunit, typically yields functional nAChR channels. A striking exception is the nAChR alpha5(More)
In terrestrial vertebrates, the vomeronasal organ (VNO) detects and transduces pheromone signals. VNO activation is thought to be mediated by the transient receptor potential C2 (TRPC2) channel. The aberrant behavioural phenotypes observed in TRPC2-/- mice are generally attributed to the lost VNO function. Recently, calcium-activated chloride channels have(More)
1. Many studies of the alpha7 subunit of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) family have demonstrated that this alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BgTx)-binding neuronal receptor can participate in ACh-gated channels. Heterologous expression studies reveal that alpha7 subunits form homomeric channels of unusually high Ca2+ permeability. However,(More)
1. Heterologous expression studies of the alpha5 subunit of the neuronal acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) gene family have demonstrated that it can participate in the function of ACh-gated channels if co-expressed with another alpha- and a beta-subunit. Previous studies also indicate prominent expression of alpha5 in both central and peripheral nervous(More)
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are known to possess two different conformations, active and inactive, and they spontaneously alternate between the two in the absence of ligands. Here, we analyzed the agonist-independent GPCR activity for its possible role in receptor-instructed axonal projection. We generated transgenic mice expressing activity mutants(More)
The mammalian vomeronasal organ detects complex chemical signals that convey information about gender, strain, and the social and reproductive status of an individual. How these signals are encoded is poorly understood. We developed transgenic mice expressing the calcium indicator G-CaMP2 and analyzed population responses of vomeronasal neurons to urine(More)
The mammalian vomeronasal organ encodes pheromone information about gender, reproductive status, genetic background and individual differences. It remains unknown how pheromone information interacts to trigger innate behaviors. In this study, we identify vomeronasal receptors responsible for detecting female pheromones. A sub-group of V1re clade members(More)
In the mammalian brain, similar features of the sensory stimuli are often represented in proximity in the sensory areas. However, how chemical features are represented in the olfactory bulb has been controversial. Questions have been raised as to whether specific chemical features of the odor molecules are represented by spatially clustered olfactory(More)