Forkhead box protein J1 (FOXJ1), a member of the forkhead family transcription factors, is a transcriptional regulator of motile ciliogenesis. The nasal respiratory epithelium, but not olfactory epithelium, is lined with FOXJ1-expressing multiciliated epithelial cells with motile cilia. In a transgenic mouse where an enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) transgene is driven by the human FOXJ1 promoter, robust eGFP expression is observed not only in the multiciliated cells of the respiratory epithelium but in a distinctive small subset of olfactory sensory neurons in the olfactory epithelium. These eGFP-positive cells lie at the extreme apical part of the neuronal layer and are most numerous in dorsal-medial regions of olfactory epithelium. Interestingly, we observed a corresponding small number of glomeruli in the olfactory bulb wherein eGFP-labeled axons terminate, suggesting that the population of eGFP+ receptor cells expresses a limited number of olfactory receptors. Similarly, a subset of vomeronasal sensory neurons expresses eGFP and is distributed throughout the full height of the vomeronasal sensory epithelium. In keeping with this broad distribution of labeled vomeronasal receptor cells, eGFP-labeled axons terminate in many glomeruli in both anterior and posterior portions of the accessory olfactory bulb. These findings suggest that Foxj1-driven eGFP marks a specific population of olfactory and vomeronasal sensory neurons, although neither receptor cell population possess motile cilia.

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