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Brain Res. 1985 May 27;335(1):99-107.

Amino acid suppression of taurine-sensitive chemosensory neurons.


Single unit recordings from chemoreceptors on the antennule of the spiny lobster revealed a population of taurine-sensitive cells whose response is suppressed when taurine is presented in mixture with certain amino acids. A synthetic mixture of 21 amino acids plus betaine, which mimics the composition of a natural food stimulus (crab muscle tissue) and itself contains taurine, totally and reversibly blocked the taurine response of this group of receptor cells. An analysis of the contribution to this suppression by the six major components (based on concentration) in the mixture revealed partial or complete inhibitory activity by five of the compounds. In a sample group of the inhibited cells, mean percent suppression of the taurine response was 99% for glycine and L-arginine, 98% for L-glutamine, 60% for L-alanine and 43% for L-proline. Both glycine and alanine in binary mixture with taurine caused a right-shift in the concentration-response function for taurine, suggesting a competitive mechanism of suppression. pA2 values determined from these data yielded 4.17 for glycine and 3.55 for alanine. These results suggest that the processing of chemical information in quality and/or intensity coding of natural stimulus mixtures can be tempered by interactions of the components at the receptor-cell level, and possibly at the receptor-sites themselves.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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