Celsi, 2012

2012 - Chemical Senses 2012, 37(9), 849-58.

Responses to sulfated steroids of female mouse vomeronasal sensory neurons.

Celsi F, D'Errico A, Menini A.

Abstract:

The rodent vomeronasal organ plays an important role in many social behaviors. Using the calcium imaging technique with the dye fluo-4 we measured intracellular calcium concentration changes induced by the application of sulfated steroids to neurons isolated from the vomeronasal organ of female mice. We found that a mix of 10 sulfated steroids from the androgen, estrogen, pregnanolone, and glucocorticoid families induced a calcium response in 71% of neurons. Moreover, 31% of the neurons responded to a mix composed of 3 glucocorticoid-derived compounds, and 28% responded to a mix composed of 3 pregnanolone-derived compounds. Immunohistochemistry showed that neurons responding to sulfated steroids expressed phosphodiesterase 4A, a marker specific for apical neurons expressing V1R receptors. None of the neuron that responded to 1 mix responded also to the other, indicating a specificity of the responses. Some neurons responded to more than 1 individual component of the glucocorticoid-derived mix tested at high concentration, suggesting that these neurons are broadly tuned, although they still displayed strong specificity, remaining unresponsive to high concentrations of the ineffective compounds.

 

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