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Review article: Biomedical intelligence

Vol. 145 No. 5152 (2015)

Role of the odorant receptor in neuronal connectivity in the olfactory bulb

  • Nelly Redolfi
  • Claudia Lodovichi
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2015;145:w14228


Olfaction is a highly sophisticated sensory modality able to detect and discriminate thousands of different odours, even at very low concentration. How such a challenging task is achieved remains to be fully understood. A unique feature of the olfactory system is the dual role of the odorant receptor: it does detect odours in the olfactory epithelium but it also contributes to neuronal circuit formation in the olfactory bulb. The odorant receptors are indeed expressed on the cilia that protrude in the nasal cavity, where they bind odorants, and at the axon termini, where they could act as axon guidance molecules. In this review we discuss findings that show how the odorant receptor contributes in regulating neuronal connectivity.


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