Calcium Imaging of Individual Olfactory Sensory Neurons from Intact Olfactory Turbinates

  • Chunbo Zhang
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1820)


The olfactory epithelium is an extremely functionally diversified organ. Scattered distribution of over 1000 different types of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) and concha structures of mouse olfactory turbinates have greatly increased technical difficulties in research and limited applicability of certain methods. We have developed a method to monitor intracellular calcium transients of individual OSNs from intact olfactory turbinates. With this method, it becomes feasible to locate OSNs of the same specificity from preparation to preparation based on anatomical landmarks of olfactory turbinates, zonal distribution patterns of OSNs, and neuronal response characteristics. This preparation is steady under perfusion, which largely minimizes artifacts. Since this method does not involve enzymatic digestions or mechanic tearing and chopping, the preparation gives OSNs an environment close to in vivo physiological conditions. This approach has provided a platform for studying interaction between OSNs or modulations of OSN activity by other epithelial cells.

Key words

Calcium imaging Olfactory sensory neurons Olfactory turbinates Olfactory epithelium Ex vivo preparation Adult mouse Dissection Fura-2 Method 



This work was supported by NIH grant DC04952 to C.Z.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chunbo Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Combi-Blocks, Inc.San DiegoUSA

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