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J Neurophysiol. 1995 Oct;74(4):1421-34.

Electrophysiological responses of single olfactory bulb neurons to amino acids in the channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus.

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Department of Zoology and Physiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge 70803-1725, USA.


1. Responses of 89 single olfactory bulb neurons from 43 channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, to amino acid odorants were recorded in vivo simultaneously with the electro-olfactogram (EOG). Recording time for individual neurons ranged from 16 to 344 min. The averaged spontaneous frequency ranged from < 1 to 16 action potentials/s with a mean frequency of 5.2 +/- 3.6 (SD) action potentials/s. 2. Histological examinations of carbocyanine dye 1,1'diocadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI)-labeled olfactory bulbs and electrical stimulation of the olfactory tracts in a subset of experiments suggested that the majority of the recorded olfactory bulb neurons in this study were mitral cells. 3. Olfactory bulb neurons responded to amino acids with either an excitation or suppression of the background neural activity. Of the 337 stimulus applications, 28% of the responses were excitatory, and 33% were suppressive. The approximately 1:1 ratio of excitatory to suppressive responses for all stimulus applications suggests that suppressive responses also play important roles in the coding of odorant information in the channel catfish. 4. Responses of single olfactory bulb neurons were highly reproducible over time (up to 5 h). Responses to any amino acid never changed from excitation to suppression, or vice versa over time. 5. Single olfactory bulb neurons responded with excitation or suppression to more than one amino acid previously indicated to bind to independent receptors. 6. Estimated threshold concentrations for activation of an olfactory bulb neuron ranged from 10(-7) to 10(-3) M and were different from neuron to neuron for a particular stimulus and from stimulus to stimulus for a particular neuron. Responses of single olfactory bulb neurons to a given amino acid did not change from excitation to suppression, or vice versa, across different suprathreshold concentrations.

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