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Chloride increases response to pheromones and odors in mouse sensory neurons

Date:
January 9, 2010
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
How an individual vomeronasal sensory neuron (VSN) transduces chemical signals into electrical signals has been a mystery. Researchers now show that chloride acts as a major amplifier for signal transduction in mouse VSNs, increasing the responsiveness to pheromones or odorants.

The vomeronasal organ (VNO) is an odor detection system that mediates many pheromone-sensitive behaviors. Vomeronasal sensory neurons (VSNs), located in the VNO, are the initial site of interaction with odors and pheromones. How an individual VSN transduces chemical signals into electrical signals, however, has been a mystery.

In the January 2010 issue of the Journal of General Physiology, researchers from the University of Vermont show that a Ca 2+ -activated chloride current contributes approximately 80% of the response to urine in mouse VSNs.

Using patch clamp recordings and whole cell recordings, the team found that that urine-induced inward current was decreased in the presence of chloride channel blockers. Furthermore, the urine-induced currents were eliminated when both extracellular Ca 2+ and Na + were removed.

The team's overall findings show that chloride acts as a major amplifier for signal transduction in mouse VSNs, increasing the responsiveness to pheromones or odorants.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chun Yang, Rona J. Delay. Calcium-activated chloride current amplifies the response to urine in mouse vomeronasal sensory neurons. The Journal of General Physiology, 2009; 135 (1): 3 DOI: 10.1085/jgp.200910265

Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University Press. "Chloride increases response to pheromones and odors in mouse sensory neurons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091228105911.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2010, January 9). Chloride increases response to pheromones and odors in mouse sensory neurons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091228105911.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "Chloride increases response to pheromones and odors in mouse sensory neurons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091228105911.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

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