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Article

From In Vitro Data to In Vivo Interspecies Danger Communication: A Study of Chemosensing via the Mouse Grueneberg Ganglion

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, Bugnon 27, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alessandro Cozzi and Pietro Asproni
Animals 2022, 12(3), 356; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030356
Received: 20 December 2021 / Revised: 26 January 2022 / Accepted: 27 January 2022 / Published: 1 February 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Behavior: Insights into Chemical Communication)
The mouse olfactory system is essential for danger detection with a critical role in the Grueneberg ganglion subsystem. This organ, which is localized at the tip of the nose, is implicated in the recognition of kairomones, or chemical cues released by predators which allow interspecies communication. These kairomones, which are present in the secretions of predators, will induce fear-related behaviours in mice. It is not yet known how the Grueneberg ganglion neurons can detect these molecules; however, three specific bitter taste receptors, known as TAS2Rs, that are present in the Grueneberg ganglion play a role in this detection. Here, using in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo experimental approaches, we identified two novel and potent sources of kairomones that are recognized by the mouse Grueneberg ganglion neurons, namely the biological secretions from the raccoon (Procyon lotor) and the skunk (Mephitis mephitis).
In the wild, mice have developed survival strategies to detect volatile cues that warn them of potential danger. Specific olfactory neurons found in the Grueneberg ganglion olfactory subsystem can detect alarm pheromones emitted by stressed conspecifics, as well as kairomones involuntarily released by their predators. These volatile chemical cues allow intra- and interspecies communication of danger, respectively. Alarm pheromones, kairomones and bitter taste ligands share a common chemical motif containing sulfur or nitrogen. Interestingly, three specific bitter taste receptors (TAS2Rs) have been found in the Grueneberg ganglion neurons that are implicated in danger signalling pathways. We have recently developed a TAS2R–expressing heterologous system that mimics the Grueneberg ganglion neuron responses after kairomone stimulation. Here, we demonstrated by in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo experiments that the biological secretions from the raccoon (Procyon lotor) and the skunk (Mephitis mephitis) were acting as potent sources of kairomones. They activated the Grueneberg ganglion neurons and induced fear-related behaviours in mice. Identification of new sources of semiochemicals is a first step towards an understanding of the interspecies danger communication that takes place in the Grueneberg ganglion. View Full-Text
Keywords: olfaction; Grueneberg ganglion; kairomones; TAS2Rs; predators; danger detection; chemical communication olfaction; Grueneberg ganglion; kairomones; TAS2Rs; predators; danger detection; chemical communication
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lopes, A.C.; Brechbühl, J.; Ferreira, F.; Amez-Droz, M.; Broillet, M.-C. From In Vitro Data to In Vivo Interspecies Danger Communication: A Study of Chemosensing via the Mouse Grueneberg Ganglion. Animals 2022, 12, 356. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030356

AMA Style

Lopes AC, Brechbühl J, Ferreira F, Amez-Droz M, Broillet M-C. From In Vitro Data to In Vivo Interspecies Danger Communication: A Study of Chemosensing via the Mouse Grueneberg Ganglion. Animals. 2022; 12(3):356. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030356

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lopes, Ana Catarina, Julien Brechbühl, Flavio Ferreira, Marjorie Amez-Droz, and Marie-Christine Broillet. 2022. "From In Vitro Data to In Vivo Interspecies Danger Communication: A Study of Chemosensing via the Mouse Grueneberg Ganglion" Animals 12, no. 3: 356. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030356

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