Olfactory Receptors and the Regulation of Renal Function

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Jennifer L. Pluznick
The Johns Hopkins University
Nov. 30 13:40~14:20


Olfactory receptors (ORs) are 7-transmembrane G-protein coupled receptors which, when expressed in the olfactory epithelium, play a pivotal role in the sense of smell.  However, recent studies have highlighted important roles played by ORs in a variety of other tissues.  As sensitive chemical sensors, ORs are utilized by a number of tissues in the body to detect changes or fluctuations in a variety of chemicals, metabolites, and other substances.  Our group is particularly interested in a role for ORs in the kidney, which is a central control point for homeostasis.  We have identified ORs which play roles in renal processes, including renal glucose handling.  The kidney normally reabsorbs all glucose from the initial filtrate, so that no glucose is lost in the final urine.  We have found that Olfr1393, a renal olfactory receptor, has a role to modulate this process by interacting with a sodium/glucose cotransporter on the apical membrane of the renal proximal tubule.  In this presentation, we will focus on the role of Olfr1393 in modulating renal glucose handling in health and disease.



  • Undergraduate
    2000 B.A., Biology, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO
  • Doctoral/graduate
    2005 Ph.D., Renal Physiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
    Primary Mentor: Dr. Steven C. Sansom
  • Postdoctoral
    2005-2010 Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
    Primary Mentor: Dr. Michael J. Caplan

Professional Career

  • 2010-2017     Assistant Professor, Dept. of Physiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • 2017-present     Associate Professor, Dept. of Physiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Awards and Honors