Immunolocalization of G protein α subunits in the olfactory system of Polypterus senegalus (Cladistia, Actinopterygii).
ABSTRACT In vertebrates, the receptor neurons of the olfactory/vomeronasal systems express different receptor gene families and related G-protein types (in particular the G protein alpha subunit). There are no data in the literature about the molecular features of the olfactory/vomeronasal systems of Cladistia thus, in this work, the presence and distribution of different types of G protein alpha subunits were investigated in the olfactory organs of the bichir Polypterus senegalus, using immunohistochemistry. Gαo-like immunoreactivity was detected in the microvillous receptor neurons, with the cell body in the basal zone of the sensory epithelium, and in the crypt neurons. Gαo-like ir glomeruli were mainly localized in the anterior part of the olfactory bulb. Gαolf-like immunoreactivity in the sensory epithelium was detected in the ciliated receptor neurons, while the immunoreactive glomeruli in the olfactory bulb were mainly localized in the ventral-posterior part. No Gαq nor Gαi3 immunoreactivity was detected. These data are partially in agreement with studies that show the distribution of G protein alpha subunits in teleosts, allowing to hypothesize a common organization of the olfactory/vomeronasal systems in the group of Actinopterigians.