Gene therapy restores sense of smell in mice

July 30, 2018, Society for Neuroscience
Credit: Green et al., JNeurosci (2018)

Re-expressing a protein critical for the detection and perception of odors restores function of the olfactory system in a genetic mouse model of lost hair-like cellular structures known as cilia, according to research published in JNeurosci. This may represent a promising therapeutic strategy for a group of human diseases that can cause loss of smell.

By replacing a lost gene, Jeffrey Martens and colleagues demonstrate the ability of the mouse olfactory system to heal itself. The therapy increased the number and length of cilia as well as the responses of . The researchers also achieved restored connections between the sensory neurons and the olfactory bulb and behaviors in odor-guided tasks.

These results held across the developing and adult olfactory systems, suggesting that a similar treatment if translated to humans could be effective for patients of a wide range of ages.

Explore further: Widespread connections among neurons help the brain distinguish smells

More information: Peripheral gene therapeutic rescue of an olfactory ciliopathy restores sensory input, axonal pathfinding, and odor-guided behavior, JNeurosci (2018). DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0084-18.2018

Related Stories

Widespread connections among neurons help the brain distinguish smells

July 24, 2018
Can you tell the smell of a rose from the scent of a lilac? If so, you have your brain's piriform cortex to thank. Compared to many parts of the brain, the piriform cortex—which lets animals and humans process information ...

A protein in neurons in the nose controls the sensitivity of mice to smells in their environment

October 4, 2013
Information about odorant molecules in the environment helps animals to find food, select mates and avoid predators. Yoshihiro Yoshihara and colleagues from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute have now identified a protein ...

Gene therapy restores sense of smell, may aid research into other diseases caused by cilia defects

September 2, 2012
Scientists have restored the sense of smell in mice through gene therapy for the first time—a hopeful sign for people who can't smell anything from birth or lose it due to disease.

Map of brain connections provides insight into olfactory system

May 16, 2014
The processing of sensory information in the brain involves a complex network of neural connections specific to each type of sensory input. Much is known about the neural wiring associated with most senses, but the deeper ...

Olfactory cells found throughout the body may help or harm depending on location

July 12, 2018
A review of more than 200 studies reveals that olfactory receptors—proteins that bind to odors that aid the sense of smell—perform a wide range of mostly unknown functions outside the nose. The function of extra-nasal ...

When neurons are 'born' impacts olfactory behavior in mice

December 7, 2016
New research from North Carolina State University shows that neurons generated at different life stages in mice can impact aspects of their olfactory sense and behavior. The work could have implications for our understanding ...

Recommended for you

Double discovery reveals insights behind brain degeneration

August 13, 2018
Research discoveries revealing the genetic causes of neurological degeneration could be a key to slowing the progression of devastating diseases.

Scientists turn unexpected brain study results into research tool

August 13, 2018
Puzzled by their experimental results, a team of scientists from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital investigated why a research tool that was expected to suppress neuronal activity actually was stimulating ...

Could nose cells treat spinal cord injuries?

August 13, 2018
Researchers have designed a new way to grow nose cells in the lab heralding hope for sufferers of spinal cord injuries, including those who are wheelchair bound.

Study examines how people adapt to post stroke visual impairments

August 13, 2018
A new University of Liverpool study, published in Wiley Brain and Behaviour, examines the factors that influence how a person adapts to visual field loss following stroke.

Detailed atlas of the nervous system

August 10, 2018
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have created a systematic and detailed map of the cell types of the mouse nervous system. The map, which can provide new clues about the origin of neurological diseases, is presented in ...

Scientists uncover new details in how sense of smell develops

August 10, 2018
Dogs, known for their extraordinarily keen senses of smell, can be trained to use their sensitive sniffers to find drugs, bombs, bed bugs, missing hikers and even cancer. Among dogs and other animals that rely on smell, at ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.