BMC Biology (Aug 2021)

The role of the odorant receptors in the formation of the sensory map

  • Simona Francia,
  • Claudia Lodovichi

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 19, no. 1
pp. 1 – 18


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Abstract In the olfactory system, odorant receptors (ORs) expressed at the cell membrane of olfactory sensory neurons detect odorants and direct sensory axons toward precise target locations in the brain, reflected in the presence of olfactory sensory maps. This dual role of ORs is corroborated by their subcellular expression both in cilia, where they bind odorants, and at axon terminals, a location suitable for axon guidance cues. Here, we provide an overview and discuss previous work on the role of ORs in establishing the topographic organization of the olfactory system and recent findings on the mechanisms of activation and function of axonal ORs.