Expression of vomeronasal receptor genes in Xenopus laevis

Authors

  • Kimiko Hagino-Yamagishi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Ultrastructural Research, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo 113-8613, Japan
    • Department of Ultrastructural Research, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, 3-18-22 Honkomagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8613, Japan
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  • Keiko Moriya,

    1. Department of Ultrastructural Research, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo 113-8613, Japan
    2. Department of Developmental Morphology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute for Neuroscience, Fuchu 183-8526, Japan
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  • Hideo Kubo,

    1. Department of Medical Biology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo 113-8613, Japan
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  • Yoshihiro Wakabayashi,

    1. Department of Developmental Morphology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute for Neuroscience, Fuchu 183-8526, Japan
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  • Naoko Isobe,

    1. Department of Ultrastructural Research, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo 113-8613, Japan
    2. School of Life Science, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science, Hachioji 192-03, Japan
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  • Shouichiro Saito,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Ehime University, Ehime 791-0295, Japan
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  • Masumi Ichikawa,

    1. Department of Developmental Morphology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute for Neuroscience, Fuchu 183-8526, Japan
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  • Kazumori Yazaki

    1. Department of Ultrastructural Research, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo 113-8613, Japan
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Abstract

In the course of evolution, the vomeronasal organ (VNO) first appeared in amphibians. To understand the relationship between the VNO and the vomeronasal receptors, we isolated and analyzed the expression of the vomeronasal receptor genes of Xenopus laevis. We identified genes of the Xenopus V2R receptor family, which are predominantly expressed throughout the sensory epithelium of the VNO. The G-protein Go, which is coexpressed with V2Rs in the rodent VNO, was also extensively expressed throughout the vomeronasal sensory epithelium. These results strongly suggest that the V2Rs and Go are coexpressed in the vomeronasal receptor cells. The predominant expression of the Xenopus V2R families and the coexpression of the V2Rs and Go imply that V2Rs play important roles in the sensory transduction of Xenopus VNO. We found that these receptors were expressed not only in the VNO, but also in the posterolateral epithelial area of the principal cavity (PLPC). Electron microscopic study revealed that the epithelium of the PLPC is more like that of the VNO than that of the principal and the middle cavity. These results suggest that in adult Xenopus the V2Rs analyzed so far are predominantly expressed in the vomeronasal and vomeronasal-like epithelium. The analysis of V2R expression in Xenopus larvae demonstrates that V2Rs are predominantly expressed in the VNO even before metamorphosis. J. Comp. Neurol. 472:246–256, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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