Grueneberg ganglion neurons are activated by a defined set of odorants. uri icon


  • Based on a variety of recent findings, the Grueneberg ganglion (GG) in the vestibule of the nasal cavity is considered as an olfactory compartment. However, defined chemical substances that activate GG neurons have not been identified. In this study, the responsiveness of murine GG cells to odorants was examined by monitoring the expression of the activity-dependent gene c-Fos. Testing a number of odorous compounds, cells in the GG were found to respond to dimethylpyrazine (DMP) and a few related substances. These responses were dose-dependent and restricted to early postnatal stages. The DMP-responsive GG cells belonged to the subset of GG neurons that coexpress the signaling elements V2r83, GC-G, and CNGA3. These cells have been previously reported to respond to cool ambient temperatures as well. In fact, cool temperatures enhanced DMP-evoked responses of GG cells. These findings support the concept that the GG of neonatal mice operates as a dual sensory organ that is stimulated by both the odorous compound DMP and cool ambient temperatures.

publication date

  • March 2011