Inducible Transcript Expressed by Reactive Epithelial Cells at Sites of Olfactory Sensory Neuron Proliferation

Thomas D. Stoss, Melissa D. Nickell, Debra Hardin, Charles D. Derby, Timothy S. McClintock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The continuous replacement of cells in the spiny lobster olfactory organ depends on proliferation of new cells at a specific site, the proximal proliferation zone (PPZ). Using representational difference analysis of cDNA, we identified transcripts enriched in the PPZ compared to the mature zone (MZ) of the organ. The 12 clones identified included four novel sequences, three exoskeletal proteins, a serine protease, two protease inhibitors, a putative growth factor, and a sequence named PET-15 that has similarity to antimicrobial proteins of the crustin type. PET-15 mRNA was only detected in epithelial cells. It was abundant in all epithelial cells of the PPZ, but was only detected in the MZ at sites of damage to the olfactory organ. PET-15 mRNA was increased by types of damage that are known to induce proliferation of new olfactory sensory neurons in the olfactory organ. It increased in the PPZ after partial ablation of the olfactory organ and in the MZ after shaving of aesthetasc semilla. These ipsilateral effects were mirrored by smaller increases in the undamaged contralateral olfactory organ. These contralateral effects are most parsimoniously explained by the action of a diffusible signal. Because epithelial cells are the source of proliferating progenitors in the olfactory organ, the same diffusible signal may stimulate increases in both cellular proliferation and PET-15 mRNA. The uniformity of expression of PET-15 in the PPZ epithelium suggests that the epithelial cells that give rise to new olfactory sensory neurons are a subset of cells that express PET-15.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-368
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 2004


  • Antimicrobial protein
  • Lobster
  • Neurogenesis
  • Olfaction
  • Regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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