Axon Mis-targeting in the Olfactory Bulb During Regeneration of Olfactory Neuroepithelium
During development, primary olfactory axons typically grow to their topographically correct target zone without extensive remodelling. Similarly, in adults, new axons arising from the normal turnover of sensory neurons essentially project to their target without error. In the present study we have examined axon targeting in the olfactory pathway following extensive chemical ablation of the olfactory neuroepithelium in the P2-tau:LacZ line of mice. These mice express LacZ in the P2 subpopulation of primary olfactory neurons whose axons target topographically fixed glomeruli on the medial and lateral surfaces of the olfactory bulb. Intraperitoneal injections of dichlobenil selectively destroyed the sensory neuroepithelium of the nasal cavity without direct physical insult to the olfactory neuron pathway. Primary olfactory neurons regenerated and LacZ staining revealed the trajectory of the P2 axons. Rather than project solely to their topographically appropriate glomeruli, the regenerating P2 axons now terminated in numerous inappropriate glomeruli which were widely dispersed over the olfactory bulb. While these errors in targeting were refined over time, there was still considerable mis-targeting after four months of regeneration.