The carbohydrate CT1 is expressed in topographically fixed glomeruli in the mouse olfactory bulb

Katie E. Lineburg, Daniel A. Amaya, Jenny A. Ekberg, Fatemeh Chehrehasa, Alan Mackay-Sim, Paul T. Martin, Brian Key, James A. St John*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Cell surface carbohydrates define subpopulations of primary olfactory neurons whose axons terminate in select glomeruli in the olfactory bulb. The combination of carbohydrates present on axon subpopulations has been proposed to confer a unique identity that contributes to the establishment of the olfactory topographic map. We have identified a novel subpopulation of primary olfactory neurons in mice that express blood group carbohydrates with GalNAc-ß1,4[NeuAcβ 2,3]Galß1 residues recognised by the CT1 antibody. The CT1 carbohydrate has been shown to modulate adhesion of nerve terminals to the extracellular matrix and to synaptic proteins. The axons of the CT1-positive primary olfactory neurons terminate in a subpopulation of glomeruli in the olfactory bulb. Four lines of evidence support the view that CT1 glomeruli are topographically fixed. First, CT1 glomeruli were restricted predominantly to the dorsomedial olfactory bulb and were absent from large patches of the ventrolateral bulb. Second, similar distributions were observed for CT1 glomeruli on both the left and right olfactory bulbs of each animal, and between animals. Third, CT1 glomeruli were typically present as small clusters of 2-4 glomeruli. Fourth, a single CT1 glomerulus was always apposed to the glomeruli innervated by axons expressing the M72 odorant receptor. We also show that the CT1 carbohydrate is lost in gain-of-function transgenic mice over-expressing the blood group A glycosyltransferase in which there is aberrant targeting of M72 axons. Taken together, these results suggest that the CT1 carbohydrate, together with other carbohydrates, contributes to axon guidance during the establishment of the olfactory topographic map.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neurosciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011
Externally publishedYes


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