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Biophys J. 1997 Aug;73(2):1110-7.

High-gain, low-noise amplification in olfactory transduction.

Author information

1
Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0521, USA. steve@syrano.acb.uc.edu

Abstract

It is desirable that sensory systems use high-gain, low-noise amplification to convert weak stimuli into detectable signals. Here it is shown that a pair of receptor currents underlying vertebrate olfactory transduction constitutes such a scheme. The primary receptor current is an influx of Na+ and Ca2+ through cAMP-gated channels in the olfactory cilia. External divalent cations improve the signal-to-noise properties of this current, reducing the mean current and the current variance. As Ca2+ enters the cilium, it gates Cl- channels, activating a secondary depolarizing receptor current. This current amplifies the primary current, but introduces little additional noise. The system of two currents plus divalent cations in the mucus produces a large receptor current with very low noise.

PMID:
9251827
PMCID:
PMC1181007
DOI:
10.1016/S0006-3495(97)78143-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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