Send to

Choose Destination
Biophys J. 2001 Apr;80(4):1712-21.

Predicted profiles of ion concentrations in olfactory cilia in the steady state.

Author information

Department of Physiology, Universit├Ąt des Saarlandes, D-66421 Homburg, Germany.


The role of ciliary geometry for transduction events was explored by numerical simulation. The changes in intraciliary ion concentrations, suspected to occur during transduction, could thus be estimated. The case of a single excised cilium, having a uniform distribution of membrane channels, voltage clamped to -80 mV, was especially investigated. The axial profile of membrane voltage was that of a leaky cable. The Ca(2+) concentration profile tended to show a maximum in proximal segments, due to a preponderance of Ca(2+) inflow over Ca(2+) export at those locations. The local increase in Ca(2+) concentration activated Cl(-) channels. The resulting current caused a local drop in Cl(-) concentration, especially at the tip of the cilium and in distal segments, accompanied by a drop in ciliary K(+) concentration. In consequence, the membrane Cl(-) current was low in distal segments but stronger in proximal segments, where resupply was sufficient. The model predicts that the Cl(-) depletion will codetermine the time course of the receptor potential or current and the ciliary stimulus-response curve. In conclusion, when modeling with transduction elements presently known to participate, the ciliary geometry has large effects on ion distributions and transduction currents because ciliary ion transport is limited by axial electrodiffusion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center