Expression of neuron-specific beta-III tubulin during olfactory neurogenesis in the embryonic and adult rat

A. J I Roskams, X. Cai, G. V. Ronnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


The olfactory neuroepithelium retains the unique capacity to produce a new set of mature neurons every three to four weeks from a precursor population situated at the base of the epithelium. It is not known however, whether developing olfactory neurons in the adult rat follow the same program that is initiated embryonically. By tracking the expression of beta-III tubulin (by immunoreactivity to TuJ-1, an isoform-specific antibody) throughout embryogenesis, we have demonstrated a commitment to the olfactory neuron lineage in a subset of cells in the embryonic olfactory placode and followed their development into adulthood. We have also shown that this developmental pattern of beta-III tubulin expression is recapitulated in neurons undergoing a synchronized neurogenic response to either physical or chemical lesion in the adult neuroepithelium. The embryonic expression pattern reported here is similar to, but earlier than that reported for other markers of developing neurons, such as growth-associated protein-43 and neural cell adhesion molecule. The results of these studies suggest the retention of a conserved neurogenic program from embryonic to adult life in the olfactory neuron and, in addition, support the use of a readily accessible system such as the regenerating olfactory neuroepithelium as an alternative means of studying genes which may be crucial to normal neuronal development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-200
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1998


  • Beta-III tubulin
  • Bulbectomy
  • Development
  • Neurogenesis
  • Olfactory neuron
  • Regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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