The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 46: 649 - 652 (2002)

Vol 46, Issue 4

Special Issue: Developmental Biology in Australia and New Zealand

Expression of neurexin ligands, the neuroligins and the neurexophilins, in the developing and adult rodent olfactory bulb

Published: 1 July 2002

Heidi J Clarris, Sonja McKeown and Brian Key

Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.


The neurexins are a large family of neuronal cell-surface proteins believed to be involved in intercellular signalling and the formation of intercellular junctions. To begin to assess the role of these proteins in the olfactory bulb, we describe here the expression patterns of their transmembrane and secreted ligands, the neuroligins and neurexophilins, during both embryonic and postnatal development. In situ hybridisation showed that neuroligin 1 and 2 were expressed by second order mitral cells during early postnatal development but not in adults. The secreted ligand for alpha-neurexin, neurexophilin 1, was also expressed in the postnatal olfactory bulb. Neurexophilin 1 was detected in only periglomerular cells during the early postnatal period of glomerular formation but later was also expressed in mitral cells. These results suggest that neurexin-ligand interactions may be important for development and/or maturation of synaptic connections in the primary olfactory pathway.

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