A novel population of neuronal cells expressing the olfactory marker protein (OMP) in the anterior/dorsal region of the nasal cavity. uri icon


  • The olfactory marker protein (OMP) is expressed in mature chemosensory neurons in the nasal neuroepithelium. Here, we report the identification of a novel population of OMP-expressing neurons located bilaterally in the anterior/dorsal region of each nasal cavity at the septum. These cells are clearly separated from the regio olfactoria, harboring the olfactory sensory neurons. During mouse development, the arrangement of the anterior OMP-cells undergoes considerable change. They appear at about stage E13 and are localized in the nasal epithelium during early stages; by epithelial budding, ganglion-shaped clusters are formed in the mesenchyme during the perinatal phase, and a filiform layer directly underneath the nasal epithelium is established in adults. The anterior OMP-cells extend long axonal processes which form bundles and project towards the brain. The data suggest that the newly discovered group of OMP-cells in the anterior region of the nasal cavity may serve a distinct sensory function.

publication date

  • April 2006