Articles by SangSeong Kim in JoVE
Imaging Neuronal Responses in Slice Preparations of Vomeronasal Organ Expressing a Genetically Encoded Calcium Sensor Limei Ma1, Sachiko Haga-Yamanaka1, Qingfeng Elden Yu1, Qiang Qiu1, SangSeong Kim1, C. Ron Yu1,2 1Stowers Institute for Medical Research, 2Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, The University of Kansas School of Medicine The vomeronasal organ (VNO) detects intraspecies chemical signals that convey social and reproductive information. We have performed Ca2+ imaging experiments using transgenic mice expressing G-CaMP2 in VNO tissue. This approach allows us to analyze the complicated response patterns of the vomeronasal neurons to large numbers of pheromone stimuli.
Other articles by SangSeong Kim on PubMed
Encoding Gender and Individual Information in the Mouse Vomeronasal Organ Science (New York, N.Y.). Apr, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18436787 The mammalian vomeronasal organ detects complex chemical signals that convey information about gender, strain, and the social and reproductive status of an individual. How these signals are encoded is poorly understood. We developed transgenic mice expressing the calcium indicator G-CaMP2 and analyzed population responses of vomeronasal neurons to urine from individual animals. A substantial portion of cells was activated by either male or female urine, but only a small population of cells responded exclusively to gender-specific cues shared across strains and individuals. Female cues activated more cells and were subject to more complex hormonal regulations than male cues. In contrast to gender, strain and individual information was encoded by the combinatorial activation of neurons such that urine from different individuals activated distinctive cell populations.
Distinct Signals Conveyed by Pheromone Concentrations to the Mouse Vomeronasal Organ The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Jun, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20519522 In mammalian species, detection of pheromone cues by the vomeronasal organ (VNO) at different concentrations can elicit distinct behavioral responses and endocrine changes. It is not well understood how concentration-dependent activation of the VNO impacts innate behaviors. In this study, we find that, when mice investigate the urogenital areas of a conspecific animal, the urinary pheromones can reach the VNO at a concentration of approximately 1% of that in urine. At this level, urinary pheromones elicit responses from a subset of cells that are tuned to sex-specific cues and provide unambiguous identification of the sex and strain of animals. In contrast, low concentrations of urine do not activate these cells. Strikingly, we find a population of neurons that is only activated by low concentrations of urine. The properties of these neurons are not found in neurons responding to putative single-compound pheromones. Additional analyses show that these neurons are masked by high-concentration pheromones. Thus, an antagonistic interaction in natural pheromones results in the activation of distinct populations of cells at different concentrations. The differential activation is likely to trigger different downstream circuitry and underlies the concentration-dependent pheromone perception.
Requirement of Calcium-activated Chloride Channels in the Activation of Mouse Vomeronasal Neurons Nature Communications. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21694713 In terrestrial vertebrates, the vomeronasal organ (VNO) detects and transduces pheromone signals. VNO activation is thought to be mediated by the transient receptor potential C2 (TRPC2) channel. The aberrant behavioural phenotypes observed in TRPC2-/- mice are generally attributed to the lost VNO function. Recently, calcium-activated chloride channels have been shown to contribute to VNO activation. Here we show that CACCs can be activated in VNO slice preparations from the TRPC2-/- mice and this activation is blocked by pharmacological agents that inhibit intracellular Ca(2+) release. Urine-evoked Cl(-) current is sufficient to drive spiking changes in VNO neurons from both wild-type (WT) and TRPC2-/- mice. Moreover, blocking Cl(-) conductance essentially abolishes VNO activation in WT neurons. These results suggest a TRPC2-independent signalling pathway in the VNO and the requirement of calcium-activated chloride channels currents to mediate pheromone activation. Our data further suggest that TRPC2-/- mice retain partial VNO function.