Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 729–742 | Cite as

Grueneberg Glomeruli in the Olfactory Bulb are Activated by Odorants and Cool Temperature

  • Rosolino Bumbalo
  • Marilena Lieber
  • Lisa Schroeder
  • Yasemin Polat
  • Heinz Breer
  • Joerg Fleischer
Original Research


Neurons of the Grueneberg ganglion respond to cool temperatures as well as to distinct odorants and extend axonal processes to the olfactory bulb of the brain. Analyses of transgenic mice, in which Grueneberg ganglion neurons and their axons are labeled, revealed that these axons innervated nine distinct glomeruli distributed in a characteristic topographical pattern in dorsal, lateral, ventral, and medial regions of rather posterior areas in the bulb. To assess activation of these glomeruli (hereinafter designated as Grueneberg glomeruli) upon stimulation of Grueneberg ganglion neurons, mice were exposed to the odorant 2,3-dimethylpyrazine (2,3-DMP) and the expression of the activity-dependent marker c-Fos in juxtaglomerular cells of the relevant glomeruli was monitored. It was found that all of these glomeruli were activated, irrespective of their localization in the bulb. To verify that the activation of juxtaglomerular cells in Grueneberg glomeruli was indeed based on stimulation of Grueneberg ganglion neurons, the 2,3-DMP-induced responses in these glomeruli were investigated in mice lacking the cyclic nucleotide-gated channel CNGA3 which is critical for chemo- and thermosensory signal transduction in Grueneberg ganglion neurons. This approach revealed that elimination of CNGA3 led to a reduction of the odorant-induced activity in Grueneberg glomeruli, indicating that the activation of these glomeruli is based on a preceding stimulation of the Grueneberg ganglion. Analyzing whether Grueneberg glomeruli in the bulb might also process thermosensory information, it was found that upon exposure to coolness, Grueneberg glomeruli were activated. Investigating mice lacking CNGA3, the activation of these glomeruli by cool temperatures was attenuated.


2,3-Dimethylpyrazine Chemosensation Grueneberg ganglion Necklace glomeruli Olfactory bulb Thermosensation 





Cyclic guanosine monophosphate




Transgenic mouse line in which expression of the green fluorescent protein is driven by the guanylyl cyclase G gene


Guanylyl cyclase G


Green fluorescent protein



The authors would like to thank Elisa Mühlberger for excellent technical assistance and Tara Sukic for her initial contribution to the study. The authors are indebted to Ivan Rodriguez for kindly providing the GC-G/GFP transgenic mouse line and to Martin Biel for providing CNGA3-deficient mice. This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Br712/24-1 to Heinz Breer and Joerg Fleischer). Joerg Fleischer was supported by the Humboldt reloaded program of the University of Hohenheim financed by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (01PL11003).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10571_2016_408_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1602 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhysiologyUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Department of Animal Physiology, Institute of Biology/ZoologyMartin Luther University Halle-WittenbergHalleGermany

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