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    Glia are typically considered as supporting cells for neural development and synaptic transmission. Here, we report an active role of a glia in olfactory transduction. As a polymodal sensory neuron in C. elegans, the ASH neuron is previously known to detect multiple aversive odorants. We reveal that the AMsh glia, a sheath for multiple sensory neurons including ASH, cell-autonomously respond to aversive odorants via G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) distinct from those in ASH. Upon activation, the AMsh glia suppress aversive odorant-triggered avoidance and promote olfactory adaptation by inhibiting the ASH neuron via GABA signaling. Thus, we propose a novel two-receptor model where the glia and sensory neuron jointly mediate adaptive olfaction. Our study reveals a non-canonical function of glial cells in olfactory transduction, which may provide new insights into the glia-like supporting cells in mammalian sensory procession. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Duo Duan, Hu Zhang, Xiaomin Yue, Yuedan Fan, Yadan Xue, Jiajie Shao, Gang Ding, Du Chen, Shitian Li, Hankui Cheng, Xiaoyan Zhang, Wenjuan Zou, Jia Liu, Jian Zhao, Linmei Wang, Bingzhen Zhao, Zhiping Wang, Suhong Xu, Quan Wen, Jie Liu, Shumin Duan, Lijun Kang. Sensory Glia Detect Repulsive Odorants and Drive Olfactory Adaptation. Neuron. 2020 Nov 25;108(4):707-721.e8

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    PMID: 32970991

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