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Nasal mucus glutathione transferase activity and impact on olfactory perception and neonatal behavior

  • Robert Hazotte, Aline
  • Faure, Philippe
  • Neiers, Fabrice
  • Potin, Catherine
  • Artur, Yves
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2019
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In olfaction, to preserve the sensitivity of the response, the bioavailability of odor molecules is under the control of odorant-metabolizing enzymes (OMEs) expressed in the olfactory neuroepithelium. Although this enzymatic regulation has been shown to be involved in olfactory receptor activation and perceptual responses, it remains widely underestimated in vertebrates. In particular, the possible activity of OMEs in the nasal mucus, i.e. the aqueous layer that lined the nasal epithelium and forms the interface for airborne odorants to reach the olfactory sensory neurons, is poorly known. Here, we used the well-described model of the mammary pheromone (MP) and behavioral response in rabbit neonates to challenge the function of nasal mucus metabolism in an unprecedented way. First, we showed, in the olfactory epithelium, a rapid glutathione transferase activity toward the MP by ex vivo real-time mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) which supported an activity in the closest vicinity of both the odorants and olfactory receptors. Indeed and second, both the presence and activity of glutathione transferases were evidenced in the nasal mucus of neonates using proteomic and HPLC analysis respectively. Finally, we strikingly demonstrated that the deregulation of the MP metabolism by in vivo mucus washing modulates the newborn rabbit behavioral responsiveness to the MP. This is a step forward in the demonstration of the critical function of OMEs especially in the mucus, which is at the nasal front line of interaction with odorants and potentially subjected to physiopathological changes.

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