2015 - PLoS One. 2015 Jun 11;10(6):e0129171. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0129171. eCollection 2015.

Development of the Olfactory Epithelium and Nasal Glands in TMEM16A-/- and TMEM16A+/+ Mice

Maurya DK, Henriques T, Marini M, Pedemonte N, Galietta LJ, Rock JR, Harfe BD, Menini A.


TMEM16A/ANO1 is a calcium-activated chloride channel expressed in several types of epithelia and involved in various physiological processes, including proliferation and development. During mouse embryonic development, the expression of TMEM16A in the olfactory epithelium is dynamic. TMEM16A is expressed at the apical surface of the entire olfactory epithelium at embryonic day E12.5 while from E16.5 its expression is restricted to a region near the transition zone with the respiratory epithelium. To investigate whether TMEM16A plays a role in the development of the mouse olfactory epithelium, we obtained the first immunohistochemistry study comparing the morphological properties of the olfactory epithelium and nasal glands in TMEM16A-/- and TMEM16A+/+ littermate mice. A comparison between the expression of the olfactory marker protein and adenylyl cyclase III shows that genetic ablation of TMEM16A did not seem to affect the maturation of olfactory sensory neurons and their ciliary layer. As TMEM16A is expressed at the apical part of supporting cells and in their microvilli, we used ezrin and cytokeratin 8 as markers of microvilli and cell body of supporting cells, respectively, and found that morphology and development of supporting cells were similar in TMEM16A-/- and TMEM16A+/+ littermate mice. The average number of supporting cells, olfactory sensory neurons, horizontal and globose basal cells were not significantly different in the two types of mice. Moreover, we also observed that the morphology of Bowman's glands, nasal septal glands and lateral nasal glands did not change in the absence of TMEM16A. Our results indicate that the development of mouse olfactory epithelium and nasal glands does not seem to be affected by the genetic ablation of TMEM16A.


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