Dopamine Promotes differentiation of Olfactory neuron in vitro
In two previous in vitro experiments, we have shown that dopamine induced apoptosis or differentiation in an olfactory cell line while it reduced mitosis and triggered cell death in human olfactory biopsy cultures. The aims of the present study were to locate precisely D2 dopamine receptors within the olfactory epithelium and to monitor the effect of dopamine on olfactory neuronal differentiation in explant cultures. We show here that D2 dopamine receptors are expressed in supporting cells, neurons and basal cells in the olfactory epithelium. In vitro, dopamine was found to (1) trigger neuronal differentiation and maturation in a dose-dependent manner via D2 dopamine receptors, (2) be active only when not oxidised, (3) act directly on epithelial cells and not through other reactive cells in the underlying lamina propria. Altogether these data indicate that, in parallel to its action in odour processing, dopamine plays a growth factor-like role in the permanent neurogenesis observed in the olfactory epithelium.