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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Biogenic amines modulate olfactory receptor neurons firing activity in Mamestra brassicae.

The modulatory effects of the biogenic amines octopamine and serotonin on pheromonal receptor neurons of Mamestra brassicae were investigated. The responses to sex pheromone components of two cells types (A and B) in single male long sensilla trichodea were monitored. Cell types A and B do not respond to the same compound. The response of type A to a pulse of the major sex pheromone component increased 5 min after octopamine injection. Responses of type B to other odorants increased after 30 min. In the absence of any pheromone stimulation the background firing activity of type A increased following octopamine injection. This background activity was used to evaluate the kinetics of octopamine and other biogenic amine effects on olfactory receptor neurons. Octopamine increased this background activity in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Clonidine, an octopamine agonist, was shown to be more powerful in increasing the background activity of olfactory receptor neurons. The effects of octopamine and clonidine were hypothesized to arise from specific receptor activation as chlorpromazine (an octopamine antagonist) was shown to block the effect of octopamine. Serotonin, a known neuromodulator in most animal species, induced a reversible inhibition of spike firing. Altogether, these results indicate that biogenic amines can modulate the sensitivity of olfactory receptor neurons of moths either directly or by an action on adaptation.[1]


  1. Biogenic amines modulate olfactory receptor neurons firing activity in Mamestra brassicae. Grosmaitre, X., Marion-Poll, F., Renou, M. Chem. Senses (2001) [Pubmed]
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