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J Neurophysiol. 1993 May;69(5):1758-68.

Divalent cations block the cyclic nucleotide-gated channel of olfactory receptor neurons.

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Physiologisches Institut, Technischen Universit√§t M√ľnchen, Germany.


1. The effects of external divalent cations on odor-dependent, cyclic AMP-activated single-channel currents from olfactory receptor neurons of the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) were studied in inside-out membrane patches taken from dendritic regions of freshly isolated sensory cells. 2. Channels were reversibly activated by 100 microM cyclic AMP. In the absence of divalent cations, the channel had a linear current-voltage relation giving a conductance of 45 pS. With increasing concentrations of either Ca2+ or Mg2+ in the external solution, the channel displayed a rapid flickering behavior. At higher concentrations of divalent cations, the transitions were too rapid to be fully resolved and appeared as a reduction in mean unitary single-channel current amplitude. 3. This effect was voltage dependent, and on analysis was shown to be due to an open channel block by divalent ions. In the case of Mg2+, the block increased steadily with hyperpolarization. In contrast, for Ca2+ the block first increased with hyperpolarization and then decreased with further hyperpolarization beyond -70 mV, providing evidence for Ca2+ permeation of this channel. 4. This block is similar to that seen in voltage-gated calcium channels. Additionally, the cyclic nucleotide-gated channel shows some pharmacological similarities with L-type calcium channels, including a novel block of the cyclic nucleotide channel by nifedipine (50 microM). 5. Our results indicate that the sensory generator current simultaneously depends on the presence of the second messenger and on the membrane potential of the olfactory neuron.

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