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J Membr Biol. 1991 Mar;120(3):223-32.

Stimulation of olfactory receptors alters regulation of [Cai] in olfactory neurons of the catfish (Ictalurus punctatus).

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Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104.


Intracellular calcium was measured in single olfactory neurons from the channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) using the fluorescent Ca2+ indicator fura 2. In 5% of the cells, olfactory stimuli (amino acids) elicited an influx of calcium through the plasma membrane which led to a rapid transient increase in intracellular calcium concentration. Amino acids did not induce release of calcium from internal stores in these cells. Some cells responded specifically to one stimulus (L-alanine, L-arginine, L-norleucine and L-glutamate) while one cell responded to all stimuli. An increase in intracellular calcium could also be elicited in 50% of the cells by direct G-protein stimulation using aluminum fluoride. Because the fraction of cells which respond to direct G-protein stimulation is substantially larger than the fraction of cells responding to amino acids, we tested for possible damage of receptor proteins due to exposure of the olfactory neurons to papain during cell isolation. We find that pretreatment with papain does not alter specific binding of L-alanine and L-arginine to olfactory receptor sites in isolated olfactory cilia. The results are discussed in terms of their relevance to olfactory transduction.

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