Decreased olfactory mucus secretion and nasal abnormality in mice lacking type 2 and type 3 IP3 receptors


Dr K. Mikoshiba, 1Laboratory for Developmental Neurobiology, as above.


Although nasal mucus is thought to play important roles in the mammalian olfactory system, the mechanisms of secretion of it and its physiological roles are poorly understood. Here we show that type 2 and type 3 IP3 receptors (IP3R2 and IP3R3) play critical roles in olfactory mucus secretion. Histological studies showed that IP3R2 and IP3R3 are predominantly expressed in two types of nasal glands, the anterior glands of the nasal septum and the lateral nasal glands (LNG), which contain mucosal proteins secreted to the main olfactory epithelium. We therefore examined LNG acinar cells, and found that acetylcholine-mediated calcium responses and fluid- and protein- secretion in the acinar cells were markedly decreased in IP3R2–R3 double-knockout (KO) mice. We also found nasal inflammation and a decrease in olfactory capacity in IP3R2–R3 KO mice. Despite intact signal transduction in the olfactory epithelium, IP3R2–R3 KO mice exhibited elevated threshold sensitivity to odorants on in vivo imaging of olfactory glomerular responses and behavioral tests. Our findings suggest that IP3R2 and IP3R3 mediate nasal mucus secretion, which is important for the maintenance of nasal tissue as well as the perception of odors.