Molecular and Cellular Receptors in Olfaction: A Novel Model under Investigation

  • E. Bignetti
  • S. Grolli
  • R. Ramoni
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 194)


Vertebrate olfactory neurons, the receptors cells in the nose that sense odorants, are continously dying and replaced from differentiating staminal cells located at the basal lamina of the epithelium. Eventhough the neuronal turnover in the nose represents an exceptional property in the nervous system, it is not yet understood. In analogy with the immune system behaviour, olfaction shows high plasticity and sensitivity in odorant reception and coding. On the basis of this analogy we postulate that the turnover of olfactory neurons and their spectrum of sensitivity is dependent on environmental odorants. To test this hypothesis, we follow staminal cells proliferation and differentiation in controlled conditions, i.e. in vitro, by means of a monoclonal antibody against an antigen of the staminal cells.


Round Cell Olfactory System Olfactory Neuron Flat Cell Odorant Reception 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Bignetti
    • 1
  • S. Grolli
    • 1
  • R. Ramoni
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto di Biologia MolecolareUniversita’ di ParmaItaly

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