Functional genomics suggest neurogenesis in the adult human olfactory bulb

Jörn Lötsch*, Elke Schaeffeler, Michel Mittelbronn, Stefan Winter, Volker Gudziol, Stephan W. Schwarzacher, Thomas Hummel, Alexandra Doehring, Matthias Schwab, Alfred Ultsch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The human olfactory bulb displays high morphologic dynamics changing its volume with olfactory function, which has been explained by active neurogenetic processes. Discussion continues whether the human olfactory bulb hosts a continuous turnover of neurons. We analyzed the transcriptome via RNA quantification of adult human olfactory bulbs and intersected the set of expressed transcriptomic genes with independently available proteomic expression data. To obtain a functional genomic perspective, this intersection was analyzed for higher-level organization of gene products into biological pathways established in the gene ontology database. We report that a fifth of genes expressed in adult human olfactory bulbs serve functions of nervous system or neuron development, half of them functionally converging to axonogenesis but no other non-neurogenetic biological processes. Other genes were expectedly involved in signal transmission and response to chemical stimuli. This provides a novel, functional genomics perspective supporting the existence of neurogenesis in the adult human olfactory bulb.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1991-2000
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Structure and Function
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Brain function
  • Bulbus olfactorius
  • Computational functional genomics
  • Expression
  • Human
  • Neurogenesis
  • Olfaction
  • Protein
  • RNA
  • Transcriptomics


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