Olfactory sensory axon growth and branching is influenced by sonic hedgehog

Qizhi Gong, Huaiyang Chen, Albert I. Farbman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) axons extend from the olfactory epithelium to the olfactory bulb without branching until they reach their target region, the glomerulus. In this report, we present evidence to support the involvement of sonic hedgehog in promoting rat olfactory sensory axons to branch and to enter into the glomerulus. Sonic hedgehog (Shh) protein is detected in the glomeruli of the olfactory bulb, whereas its transcript is expressed in the mitral and tufted cells, suggesting that Shh in the glomeruli is produced by mitral and tufted cells. In primary OSN cultures, Shh-N peptide promotes olfactory axon branching. When Shh function is neutralized in vivo by its antibody, growth of newly generated OSN axons into the glomeruli is vastly reduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1768-1776
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Axon branching
  • Glomerulus
  • Olfactory bulb
  • Trophic factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology


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