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Neuron. 1991 May;6(5):825-35.

Activation of the sensory current in salamander olfactory receptor neurons depends on a G protein-mediated cAMP second messenger system.

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Section of Neurobiology, Yale University Medical School, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.


Olfactory receptor neurons respond to odor stimulation with an inward cationic current. Under whole-cell patch clamp, individual, isolated olfactory receptors were exposed to pharmacological agents known to interact with distinct enzymes in a putative second messenger cascade, and their response to odors was measured. IBMX prolonged the odor-evoked current and also reduced its amplitude. cAMP and cGMP induced a current electrically identical to the odor current, but the current showed desensitization only with cAMP. GTP-gamma-s prolonged and GDP-beta-s interfered with the odor-evoked current. The long latency seen in the odor response appears to be mainly due to the loading of the G protein and secondarily to the requirement for cAMP accumulation. The main source of the response decay appears to be cyclic nucleotide hydrolysis.

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