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Motion of Olfactory Cilia?

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Motion of Olfactory Cilia?

Postby Beth123 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:47 pm

I have a few questions regarding the cilia and olfactory lobe. I'm trying to make an animation of the nose. I did some research and I think I understand that there are cilia which line the nose which are like tiny hairs. From the images I found, the cilia come out of the olfactory lobe and are attached to nerves. Is this correct or are the cilia and tiny hairs coming from the olfactory lobe different things?

Also I would like to know what sort of motion the cilia makes inside the nose and how fast/slow this is and what is looks like. I am trying to animate it but I want to get the motion right and all I can fild is still images.

Any feedback on this would be great. Thanks.

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Re: Motion of Olfactory Cilia?

Postby Darby » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:42 pm

I think you've got some things confused.

From what I can tell from a quick search ("olfactory epithelium" from Google Images), the cilia interact with neurons from the olfactory bulb on the olfactory epithelium. The olfactory lobe is farther away, kind of a projection of the brain, and just interacts with the neurons. There are also microvilli on the epithelium probably to aid capture of airborne molecules.
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Re: Motion of Olfactory Cilia?

Postby Beth123 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:15 pm

oh I see. So inside the nose are cilia and neuron cells and they interact together in the same place?

Do you know what they look like when they move or how I can find out?

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Postby mith » Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:19 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_im ... 7s_s223.29

Might be helpful. Don't quote me, but I think the cilia would be pushing debris downward into the stomach area.
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Re: Motion of Olfactory Cilia?

Postby Darby » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:10 pm

That is typically what respiratory cilia do, but the configuration of these cilia with nerve endings might mean that they're in a different business.
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Postby MrMistery » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:57 pm

OK, first of all, i'll try to clarify what Darby has already explained. The olfactory pathway has 2 neurons. The cilia are part of the first neuron, which starts in the nose and ends in the olfactory bulb. There the first neuron has a synapse with the second neuron, that then goes inside the brain into the olfactory lobe(The term "olfactory lobe" simply denotes the region of the brain that analyzes signals from the nose).

Now, how do the olfactory cilia move? Simple answer: the don't. Not actively anyway. They might move according to the laws of physics, but that is not a biological movement. This is because of the VERY big difference in structure between olfactory cilia and "traditional" cilia. We are used to referring to cilia as that 9+2 microtubule structure, dinein and the works. However, the term cilium doesn't necessary mean that: almost all mammalian cells have a specialized structure called the primary cilium that is just a prominence of the plasma membrane, and usually immobile. Examples of specialized primary cilia are the inner and outer segments of rod cells for example.
OK, returning to olfactory cilia. I don't know exactly the structure of these cilia are, but I do know that their main function is creating a larger surface area for the same volume in order to accommodate the many receptor molecules each of these receptor neurons needs to have. For this, there is no need to move. As to guessing what's inside olfactory cilia, I would venture to say a lot of signal relay molecules and scaffold proteins, and some cytoskeleton elements to keep their shape...
Here is an article that talks about olfactory cilia in frogs. I did not base my answer on it, so you might find some further information there: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articl ... id=2106642

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Andrew
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Re: Motion of Olfactory Cilia?

Postby Darby » Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:47 am

It's interesting - I've run into cilia in various places that obviously support the broader definition you've given, but I cannot find a definition for the term that extends beyond motile structures. That's biology for ya.
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Postby MrMistery » Sun Jun 08, 2008 5:06 pm

any cell prominence that does not have an ordered array of parallel and interconnected actin bundles(because that falls under microvillus).

A microbiology professor of mine suggested we called EK cilia and flagella "Undulipods" and use cilium for all the other uses of the word. However, though probably correct, such a distinction would be impossible to use, because the term cilium is defined in the brain of all biologists as the motile structure.
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