Odor stimuli trigger influx of calcium into olfactory neurons of the channel catfish

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Science  07 Sep 1990:
Vol. 249, Issue 4973, pp. 1166-1168
DOI: 10.1126/science.2168580


Olfactory transduction is thought to be mediated by a G protein-coupled increase in intracellular adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) that triggers the opening of cAMP-gated cation channels and results in depolarization of the plasma membrane of olfactory neurons. In olfactory neurons isolated from the channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, stimulation with olfactory stimuli (amino acids) elicits an influx of calcium that leads to a rapid increase in intracellular calcium. In addition, in a reconstitution assay a plasma membrane calcium channel has been identified that is gated by inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3), which could mediate this calcium influx. Together with previous studies indicating that stimulation with olfactory stimuli leads to stimulation of phosphoinositide turnover in olfactory cilia, these data suggest that an influx of calcium triggered by odor stimulation of phosphoinositide turnover may be an alternate or additional mechanism of olfactory transduction.

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