Olfactory sensory neurons in the sea lamprey display polymorphisms
The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) is an ancient jawless fish phyletically removed from modern (teleost) fishes. It is an excellent organism in the study of olfaction due to its accessible olfactory pathway, which is susceptible to manipulation, and its important location in the evolution of vertebrates. There are many similarities in the olfactory systems of all fishes, and they also share characteristics with the olfactory system of mammals. Teleost fishes lack the distinctive vomeronasal organ of mammals; rather all odours are processed initially by olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) of three morphotypes within the olfactory epithelium. We sought to identify olfactory sensory neuron polymorphisms in the sea lamprey. Using retrograde tracing with dyes injected into the olfactory bulb, we identified three morphotypes which are highly similar to those found in teleosts. This study provides the first evidence of morphotypes in the sea lamprey peripheral olfactory organ, and indicates that olfactory sensory neuron polymorphism may be a trait highly conserved throughout vertebrate evolution.
Laframboise, A. J.; Ren, X.; Chang, S.; Dubuc, R.; and Zielinski, Barbara, "Olfactory sensory neurons in the sea lamprey display polymorphisms" (2007). Neuroscience Letters, 414, 3, 277-281.