Nav: Home

Olfactory receptors discovered in bronchi

August 08, 2016

Researchers identified two types of olfactory receptors in human muscle cells of bronchi. If those receptors are activated by binding an odorant, bronchi dilate and contract - a potential approach for asthma therapy.

This is the conclusion drawn by a team headed by Prof Dr Dr Dr habil Hanns Hatt and Dr Benjamin Kalbe at the Department for Cellphysiology in Bochum. Together with colleagues from various clinics in Bochum, Cologne and Herne, the researchers from Ruhr-Universität Bochum published their report in the journal "Frontiers in Physiology".

Banana-apricot scent dilates bronchioles

The newly discovered receptors in muscle cells are named OR2AG1 and OR1D2. The researchers also identified the activating odorous molecules as well as the signalling pathways that are triggered in the cells.

Amyl butyrate, a fruity scent with banana and apricot notes, stimulates the OR2AG1 receptor. Once the odorant binds, bronchioles relax and dilate. In the experiment, this effect was so strong that it could reverse the effect of histamine. Histamine is the substance released by the body if a person suffers from allergic asthma, which leads to constriction of the bronchi.

Approach for asthma therapy

"Amyl butyrate may help improve airflow in asthma sufferers," concludes Hanns Hatt. "It can probably counteract not only the effect of histamine, but also that of other allergens that make breathing difficult." The receptor might also be of interest in the treatment of other diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The researchers demonstrated, moreover, that amyl butyrate triggers the same signalling pathways in the muscle cells as in the olfactory cells in the nose.

Second receptor with opposite effect

The second receptor OR1D2 is sensitive to scents with floral, oily notes, for example lilial or bourgeonal. If the odorant binds to the receptor, the effect is opposite to that of the OR2AG1 receptor: the bronchial muscles contract. Moreover, pro-inflammatory substances are released from the cells.

For the purpose of the study, the researchers analysed human cell cultures provided by the team headed by PD Dr Jürgen Knobloch from the University Clinic Bergmannsheil in Bochum. The studied specimens were smooth muscles that, unlike striated muscles, cannot be contracted voluntarily.
-end-


Ruhr-University Bochum

Related Olfactory Receptors Articles:

An exception to the rule: An intact sense of smell without a crucial olfactory brain structure
A handful of left-handed women have excellent senses of smell, despite lacking olfactory bulbs.
Typical olfactory bulbs might not be necessary for smell, case study suggests
A team of researchers have uncovered a sliver of the population who have no apparent olfactory bulbs yet can somehow still smell.
Olfactory and auditory stimuli change the perception of our body
A pioneering investigation developed by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) alongside the University of Sussex and University College London, shows that olfactory stimuli combined with auditory stimuli can change our perception of our body.
Talking receptors may affect relaxin at work
A research team investigating the promising anti-fibrotic effects of a drug version of the hormone, relaxin, has discovered that the receptor through which it mediates its therapeutic actions can communicate and/or interact with other receptors in cells that contribute to fibrosis progression.
Neurons that fire alike are connected in the olfactory map
Filling a notable gap in scientists' understanding of how cells respond to 'smells' and signal to underlying neurons, researchers report that the activated cell receptors cause their cells not simply to fire, but to fire in specific patterns.
How the olfactory brain affects memory
How sensory perception in the brain affects learning and memory processes is far from fully understood.
Seeing shapeshifting receptors at work could yield new drugs
New research out of Duke, Stanford and Harvard is showing precisely how GPCR cell surface receptors interact differently with various drugs, giving researchers hope that they may be able to tailor more specific medications.
Hidden estrogen receptors in the breast epithelium
EPFL scientists have uncovered that next to estrogen receptor positive and negative there are cells with very low amounts of the receptor protein.
Olfactory cells may act as 'Trojan horse,' carry anticancer therapy to deadly brain tumors
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have found that a special type of cell essential to the ability of olfactory neurons to regenerate may be genetically engineered to deliver anticancer therapy to the dangerous brain tumors called glioblastomas.
Olfactory receptors have more functions than merely smell perception
Numerous studies to date have shown that olfactory receptors are relevant not only for smell perception, but that they also play a significant physiological and pathophysiological role in all organs.
More Olfactory Receptors News and Olfactory Receptors Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#541 Wayfinding
These days when we want to know where we are or how to get where we want to go, most of us will pull out a smart phone with a built-in GPS and map app. Some of us old timers might still use an old school paper map from time to time. But we didn't always used to lean so heavily on maps and technology, and in some remote places of the world some people still navigate and wayfind their way without the aid of these tools... and in some cases do better without them. This week, host Rachelle Saunders...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.