Analysis of the vomeronasal organ transcriptome reveals variable gene expression depending on age and function in rabbits

P R Villamayor, D Robledo, C Fernández, J Gullón, L Quintela, P Sánchez-Quinteiro, P Martínez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The vomeronasal organ (VNO) is a chemosensory organ specialized in pheromone detection that shows a broad morphofunctional and genomic diversity among mammals. However, its expression patterns have only been well-characterized in mice. Here, we provide the first comprehensive RNA sequencing study of the rabbit VNO across gender and sexual maturation stages. We characterized the VNO transcriptome, updating the number and expression of the two main vomeronasal receptor families, including 128 V1Rs and 67 V2Rs. Further, we defined the expression of formyl-peptide receptor and transient receptor potential channel families, both known to have specific roles in the VNO. Several sex hormone-related pathways were consistently enriched in the VNO, highlighting the relevance of this organ in reproduction. Moreover, whereas juvenile and adult VNOs showed significant transcriptome differences, male and female did not. Overall, these results contribute to understand the genomic basis of behavioural responses mediated by the VNO in a non-rodent model.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGenomics
Early online date18 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 May 2021

Keywords

  • Vomeronasal organ
  • Gene expression
  • Age
  • Sex
  • VNO-receptors
  • Rabbits
  • RNA-Seq

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