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BMC Res Notes. 2010 Jun 2;3:154. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-3-154.

Characterization of voltage-gated ionic currents in a peripheral sensory neuron in larval Drosophila.

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Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK.



The development, morphology and genetics of sensory neurons have been extensively studied in Drosophila. Sensory neurons in the body wall of larval Drosophila in particular have been the subject of numerous anatomical studies, however, little is known about the intrinsic electrical properties of larval sensory cells.


We performed whole cell patch recordings from an identified peripheral sensory cell, the dorsal bipolar sensory neuron (dbd) and measured voltage-gated ionic currents in 1st instar larvae. Voltage clamp analysis revealed that dbds have a TEA sensitive, non-inactivating IK type potassium current as well as a 4-AP sensitive, inactivating IA type potassium current. dbds also show a voltage-gated calcium current (ICa) and a voltage-gated sodium current (INa).


This work provides a first characterization of voltage-activated ionic currents in an identified body-wall sensory neuron in larval Drosophila. Overall, we establish baseline physiology data for future studies aimed at understanding the ionic and genetic basis of sensory neuron function in fruit flies and other model organisms.

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