Research NewsNeurobiology

Mutant Mice and Worms Help Solve Mysteries of Olfaction

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Science  25 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5287, pp. 500-501
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5287.500


How do olfactory neurons signal the brain when they detect an odor? Two sets of mutant animals have shown that a crucial trigger is the intracellular messenger molecule cyclic AMP, which floods olfactory neurons when they are stimulated, opening ion channels and setting off action potentials that convey the signal to the brain.