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Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2008 May;35(5-6):563-7. Epub 2007 Dec 7.

FMRFamide modulates outward potassium currents in mouse olfactory sensory neurons.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, West China Hospital, Sichuian University, Chengdu, China.


1. The olfactory system can detect the presence of low concentrations of odourant molecules and discriminate even slight differences among molecules with a very similar chemical structure. The detection and discrimination of odourants are correlated with the electrophysiology of the olfactory sensory neurons. To get a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of olfactory transduction, it is therefore of considerable importance to obtain electrophysiological recordings of olfactory sensory neurons. FMRFamide (Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH(2)), secreted from the nerve terminals of the nasal cavity, has been suggested to act as a neurotransmitter or neuromodulator, playing an important role in modulating the activity of olfactory receptor neurons. Its effects on voltage-dependent potassium currents in the mouse olfactory sensory neurons were investigated in the present study using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. 2. Olfactory sensory neurons were isolated from the Kunming Mouse (KM) mouse olfactory epithelium. Different protocols were applied to obtain delayed-rectifier potassium current (I(K)) and fast transient potassium current (I(A)). The effects of FMRFamide on the outward potassium currents, including I(K) and I(A), in mouse olfactory sensory neurons were investigated. 3. We found that FMRFamide (5 micromol/L) increased the magnitude of I(K). However no effect on I(A) was observed. The activation dynamics of both currents were not changed by FMRFamide. 4. In conclusion, FMRFamide may play a role in the modulation of peripheral olfactory signals by regulating I(K). This modulation may shorten the phase of the fast repolarization of the action potential in mouse olfactory sensory neurons and increase the excitability of the neuronal membrane.

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