2007 Volume 40 Issue 2 Pages 43-52
Spermatogenic immunoglobulin superfamily (SgIGSF) is a cell adhesion molecule originally discovered in mouse testis. SgIGSF is expressed not only in spermatogenic cells but also in lung and liver epithelial cells and in neurons and glia of the central and peripheral nervous systems. In the present study, we examined the expression and localization of SgIGSF in mouse olfactory epithelium before and after transection of the olfactory nerves, by RT-PCR, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. In normal olfactory mucosa, SgIGSF showed 100 kDa in molecular weight, which was identical with that in the lung but different from that in the brain. SgIGSF was expressed on the membrane of all olfactory, sustentacular and basal cells, but more abundantly in the apical portions of the olfactory epithelium where the dendrites of olfactory cells are in contact with sustentacular cells. After olfactory nerve transection, mature olfactory cells disappeared in 4 days but were regenerated around 7–15 days by proliferation and differentiation of basal cells into mature olfactory cells through the step of immature olfactory cells. During this period, both the mRNA and protein for SgIGSF showed a transient increase, with peak levels at 7 days and 11 days, respectively, after the transection. Immunohistochemistry showed that the enriched immunoreactivity for SgIGSF at 7–11 days was localized primarily to the membrane of immature olfactory cells. These results suggested that, during regeneration of the olfactory epithelium, the adhesion molecule SgIGSF plays physiological roles in differentiation, migration, and maturation of immature olfactory cells.