New Methods and Targets for Modulating Odor Sensitivity in Olfactory Epithelium

This invention demonstrates that purine nucleotides and dopamine modulate the odor sensitivity of peripheral olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs). Located in the dorsal recesses of the nasal cavity, these ORNs can be upward or downward modulated in sensitivity, by agonists and antagonists, respectively. This invention outlines the most effective agonists and antagonists to achieve the desired change in olfactory sensitivity.

Historically, it was generally accepted that odor sensitivity is not modulated by neurotransmitters or neuromodulators in the peripheral olfactory receptor neurons. Currently there is no known modulator of odor sensitivity that works at the ORN level.

With this invention, nasal spray of neural agonists or antagonists can regulate neuron-based sensitivity to odors. Because the modulator is applied nasally, very small amounts enter the blood stream, and side effects are minimal. The therapeutic applications for these modulators are numerous.

Stage of Development
For this invention, PCT application 2004/047749 has been filed with nationalization in Australia, Canada, and the United States. It is available for further developmental research support and licensing under either exclusive or non-exclusive terms.

Additional Info
*Hegg CC and Lucero MT. Purinergic receptor antagonists inhibit odorant-induced heat shock protein 25 induction in mouse olfactory epithelium. Glia 2006 Jan 15; 53(2): 182-90.
*Hegg CC and Lucero MT. Dopamine reduces odor- and elevated-K+-induced calcium responses in mouse olfactory receptor neurons in situ. Journal of Neurophysiology 2004 Apr; 91(4):1492-99.

Inventor(s): Colleen Hegg, Mary Lucero

Type of Offer: Licensing

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