Suppression of odorant responses by odorants in olfactory receptor cells

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Science  01 Jul 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5168, pp. 118-120
DOI: 10.1126/science.8016645


Odorants activate an inward current in vertebrate olfactory receptor cells. Here it is shown, in receptor cells from the newt, that odorants can also suppress this current, by a mechanism that is distinct from inhibition and adaptation. Suppression provides a simple explanation for two seemingly unrelated phenomena: the anomalously long latency of olfactory transduction and the existence of an "off response" at the end of a prolonged stimulus. Suppression may influence the perception of odorants by masking odorant responses and by sharpening the odorant specificities of single cells.

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