Effects of urea on the olfactory reception in zebrafish (Danio rerio)


Submitted: March 7, 2016
Accepted: May 16, 2016
Published: June 27, 2016
Abstract Views: 1672
PDF: 628
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Authors

  • Lorenzo Gallus Department of Earth, Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy. http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4496-3602
  • Emiliano Marchesotti Department of Earth, Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.
  • Sonia Scarfì Department of Earth, Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.
  • Andrea Amaroli Department of Surgical and Integrated Diagnostic Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.
  • Valeria Franceschini Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
  • Simone Bettini Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
  • Ghulam Abbas Centre of Excellence in Marine Biology, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan.
  • Chiara Gambardella Institute of Marine Sciences-National Research Council, Genoa, Italy.
  • Sara Ferrando Department of Earth, Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.
The effects of uremia on human olfactory functions have been clinically evaluated in various studies, even if to date it is not completely clarified which uremic toxins mediate these processes. Surprisingly, the role of the main molecule involved in uremia, urea indeed, has not been adequately investigated as other possible molecules may also be involved in uremic anosmia. The effects of urea on the olfaction have been evaluated in some clinical studies, but this is the first attempt to determine a direct action of urea on the olfactory epithelium of a vertebrate. Danio rerio adults were exposed to urea in different experiments to assess the effects on olfactory sensitivity and signal transduction. The analysis of the swimming speed has been used to evaluate the response to hypoxanthine 3-N-oxide (H3NO), a molecule that is known to elicit an olfactory-mediated alarm reaction in D. rerio. The presence and distribution of the G protein alpha subunit coupled to the olfactory receptors (Gαolf) has been immunohistochemically investigated in the olfactory epithelium of control and urea-exposed D. rerio. Our findings showed that urea alters the response to H3NO of D. rerio with a quite rapid and reversible effect that appears to be independent from a mere interference of urea on the receptor-ligand binding. The Gαolf protein resulted increases after urea treatment, suggesting an effect of urea on its expression or degradation.

Lorenzo Gallus, Department of Earth, Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa

Dr Lorenzo Gallus Ph.D DISTAV, Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences. University of Genoa; Corso Europa 26
16132 Genova, Italy

Currently I am a PhD student and Honorary Fellows in Cytology and Comparative Anatomy.

Gallus, L., Marchesotti, E., Scarfì, S., Amaroli, A., Franceschini, V., Bettini, S., Abbas, G., Gambardella, C., & Ferrando, S. (2016). Effects of urea on the olfactory reception in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Journal of Biological Research - Bollettino Della Società Italiana Di Biologia Sperimentale, 89(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jbr.2016.5868

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