Dieris, M., Ahuja, G., Krishna, V., Korsching, S.I. (2017) A single identified glomerulus in the zebrafish olfactory bulb carries the high-affinity response to death-associated odor cadaverine. Scientific Reports. 7:40892.
The death-associated odor cadaverine, generated by bacteria-mediated decarboxylation of lysine, has been described as the principal activator of a particular olfactory receptor in zebrafish, TAAR13c. Low concentrations of cadaverine activated mainly TAAR13c-expressing olfactory sensory neurons, suggesting TAAR13c as an important element of the neuronal processing pathway linking cadaverine stimulation to a strongly aversive innate behavioral response. Here, we characterized the initial steps of this neuronal pathway. First we identified TAAR13c-expressing cells as ciliated neurons, equivalent to the situation for mammalian taar genes, which shows a high degree of conservation despite the large evolutionary distance between teleost fishes and mammals. Next we identified the target area of cadaverine-responsive OSNs in the olfactory bulb. We report that cadaverine dose-dependently activates a group of dorsolateral glomeruli, at the lowest concentration down to a single invariant glomerulus, situated at the medial border of the dorsolateral cluster. This is the first demonstration of a single stereotyped target glomerulus in the fish olfactory system for a non-pheromone odor. A mix of different amines activates many glomeruli within the same dorsolateral cluster, suggesting this area to function as a general amine response region.