Expression of Hes6 and NeuroD in the olfactory epithelium, vomeronasal organ and non-sensory patches

Yuko Suzuki, Itaru Mizoguchi, Hiromasa Nishiyama, Masako Takeda, Nobuko Obara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors NeuroD and Hes6 promote neuronal differentiation. The expression of their genes in the olfactory epithelium (OE), vomeronasal organ (VNO) and the non-sensory patches of the posterior nasal cavity of mice was examined. As detected by in situ hybridization, Hes6 was expressed in a basal progenitor layer of the embryonic OE. After birth, the expression of Hes6 was detected in a cell layer above the basement membrane, globose basal cells (GBCs). Expression of NeuroD in the embryonic OE was in agreement with that previously described; and in the postnatal OE, it was detected in cells of GBC layer and cells upper to GBCs. In the VNO, Hes6 was expressed throughout the sensory epithelium (S-VNO) at embryonic day 12, and later became restricted to a single layer of cells in the basal region of the S-VNO, where Hes5-expressing undifferentiated cells were present. NeuroD was expressed throughout the S-VNO during the embryonic stage. After birth, Hes6 and NeuroD expressions were observed in the border between the S-VNO and non-sensory VNO. Immunohistochemistry using anti-NeuroD antibody revealed that NeuroD-positive cells were still present not only at the edges but also in the center of the S-VNO until P3. These findings suggest that Hes6 and NeuroD are expressed in progenitors of chemoreceptor neurons and that the expression of Hes6 precedes that of NeuroD. Moreover, in the regenerating VNO of bulbectomized mice, NeuroD-positive cells were observed both at the edges and in the center of the S-VNO, suggesting that neuronal turnover occurred in both regions. Moreover, in the dorsal fossa of the posterior nasal cavity, several non-sensory patches are formed between postnatal (P) days 10 and 21 because of programmed death of ORNs and GBCs. During embryonic stages, the expression of Hes6 and NeuroD in the OE showed no regional differences. At P3-P7, expression of NeuroD and Hes6 disappeared in the region corresponding to the presumptive non-sensory patches. The loss of these genes may stop the differentiation and may cause apoptosis of GBCs and ORNs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Senses
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Hes6
  • In situ hybridization
  • NeuroD
  • Olfactory epithelium
  • Vomeronasal organ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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