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Eur J Neurosci. 2007 Nov;26(9):2524-31. Epub 2007 Oct 23.

Plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase in the cilia of olfactory receptor neurons: possible role in Ca(2+) clearance.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences and Millennium Institute for Cell Dynamics and Biotechnology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.


Olfactory sensory neurons respond to odorants increasing Ca(2+) concentrations in their chemosensory cilia. Calcium enters the cilia through cAMP-gated channels, activating Ca(2+)-dependent chloride or potassium channels. Calcium also has a fundamental role in odour adaptation, regulating cAMP turnover rate and the affinity of the cyclic nucleotide-gated channels for cAMP. It has been shown that a Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX) extrudes Ca(2+) from the cilia. Here we confirm previous evidence that olfactory cilia also express plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase (PMCA), and show the first evidence supporting a role in Ca(2+) removal. Both transporters were detected by immunoblot of purified olfactory cilia membranes. The pump was also revealed by immunocytochemistry and immunohistochemistry. Inside-out cilia membrane vesicles transported Ca(2+) in an ATP-dependent fashion. PMCA activity was potentiated by luminal Ca(2+) (K(0.5) = 670 nm) and enhanced by calmodulin (CaM; K(0.5) = 31 nm). Both carboxyeosin (CE) and calmidazolium reduced Ca(2+) transport, as expected for a CaM-modulated PMCA. The relaxation time constant (tau) of the Ca(2+)-dependent Cl(-) current (272 +/- 78 ms), indicative of luminal Ca(2+) decline, was increased by CE (2181 +/- 437 ms), by omitting ATP (666 +/- 49 ms) and by raising pH (725 +/- 65 ms), suggesting a role of the pump on Ca(2+) clearance. Replacement of external Na(+) by Li(+) had a similar effect (tau = 442 +/- 8 ms), confirming the NCX involvement in Ca(2+) extrusion. The evidence suggests that both Ca(2+) transporters contribute to re-establish resting Ca(2+) levels in the cilia following olfactory responses.

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