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

Mucosal inherent activity patterns in the rat: evidence from voltage-sensitive dyes.

1. Fluorescence changes in the dye di-4-ANEPPS were monitored on the rat's nasal septum and medial surface of the turbinates in response to odorant stimuli. For each mucosal surface a 6.0 x 6.0-mm area was sampled at 100 contiguous sites with a 10 x 10 photodiode array. The odorants were propyl acetate, 2-propanol, citral, L-carvone and ethylacetoacetate, each presented at a low and high concentration. 2. Like previous work using optical recording techniques and potential-sensitive dyes on the amphibian epithelium, the fluorescence signals elicited by odorant stimuli in the rat preparation were nearly identical in shape, time course, and response characteristics as the electroolfactogram (EOG). As with the EOG, a response could only be recorded in the presence of odorant stimuli (that is, no response was detected when nonodorized, humidified air was presented as the stimulus); the amplitude depended on odorant concentration, and the response was abolished both by ether and Triton X-100. 3. Although the entire expanse of each sampled tissue (i.e., septum and medial surface of the turbinates) responded to stimulation with each odorant, each stimulus induced a distinct spatial pattern of activity that was independent of odorant concentration and consistent from animal to animal. Furthermore, the spatial activity patterns recorded for the septum were mirror images of those recorded from the medial surface of the turbinates. 4. Formal statistical analysis of the loci of maximal activity or "hot spot" indicated highly significant effects of the odorants for both the septum and medial surface of the turbinates. 5. The results of these studies give further support to the hypothesis that odorant quality is encoded by differential spatial activity patterns in the olfactory epithelium that are characteristic of different odorants.[1]


  1. Mucosal inherent activity patterns in the rat: evidence from voltage-sensitive dyes. Youngentob, S.L., Kent, P.F., Sheehe, P.R., Schwob, J.E., Tzoumaka, E. J. Neurophysiol. (1995) [Pubmed]
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