Deconstructing pheromone-mediated behavior one layer at a time
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK
BMC Biology 2014, 12:33 doi:10.1186/1741-7007-12-33Published: 29 May 2014
The vomeronasal organ, a sensory structure within the nasal cavity of most tetrapods, detects pheromones that influence socio-sexual behavior. It has two neuronal layers, each patterned by distinct receptor sub-families coupled to different G-proteins. Work recently published in this journal found female mice with one layer genetically inactivated are deficient in a surprisingly wide range of reproductive behaviors, providing new insights into how the nose can influence the brain.