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J Comp Physiol A. 1997 May;180(5):481-91.

Multiple excitatory receptor types on individual olfactory neurons: implications for coding of mixtures in the spiny lobster.

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Department of Biology, Georgia State University, Atlanta 80302, USA.


The aim of our paper was to investigate whether single olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) of the spiny lobster Panulirus argus functionally express more than one type of receptor, examine the consequences of this on coding of mixtures, and compare principles of odorant mixture coding by spiny lobsters with that by the channel catfish, which has been studied extensively using the same experimental and analytical procedures (Caprio et al. 1989; Kang and Caprio 1991). We examined responses of individual taurine-sensitive ORNs to binary mixtures of excitatory compounds, either competitive agonists (taurine, beta-alanine, hypotaurine) or non-competitive agonists (taurine, L-glutamate, ammonium chloride, adenosine-5'-monophosphate). Responses to mixtures were compared to two indices: mixture discrimination index (MDI) and independent component index (ICI). Binary mixtures of competitive agonists had MDI values close to 1.0, as expected for competitors. Mixtures of non-competitive agonists had ICI values averaging 0.83, indicating the effects of the components are not independent. We conclude that individual olfactory cells of spiny lobsters can express more than one type of receptor mediating excitation, one of which typically has a much higher density or affinity, and that spiny lobster and catfish olfactory cells encode mixtures of two excitatory agonists using similar rules.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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