Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Cilia of olfactory sensory neurons are the primary sensory organelles for olfaction. The detection of odorants by the main olfactory epithelium (MOE) depends on coupling of odorant receptors to the type 3 adenylyl cyclase (AC3) in olfactory cilia. We monitored the effect of airflow on electro-olfactogram (EOG) responses and found that the MOE of mice can sense mechanical forces generated by airflow. The airflow-sensitive EOG response in the MOE was attenuated when cAMP was increased by odorants or by forskolin suggesting a common mechanism for airflow and odorant detection. In addition, the sensitivity to airflow was significantly impaired in the MOE from AC3−/− mice. We conclude that AC3 in the MOE is required for detecting the mechanical force of airflow, which in turn may regulate odorant perception during sniffing.


Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences

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Journal of Neuroscience


Society for Neuroscience

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© 2012 the authors


This is an article published by Society for Neuroscience in Journal of Neuroscience in 2012, available online: