Institute of Neurophysiology and Cellular Biophysics

Director: Prof. Dr. Dr. D. Schild i.R.

Research Topics

Transduction mechanisms in olfactory receptor neurons

orn knobs and cilia

Knobs & cilia of ORNs.

Amino acids are known water-borne olfactory stimuli that elicit responses in ORNs of larval Xenopus laevis. The employment of pharmacological agents activating the cAMP pathway showed that ORNs sensitive to amino acids do not possess the cAMP transduction cascade. We hypothesized that these amino acid responses might be mediated via a vomeronasal-like transduction machinery. We could show that amino acid-responsive receptor neurons in the lateral main olfactory epithelium employ a phospholipase C and diacylglycerol-mediated transduction cascade (see Sansone et al., 2014). On the other hand, a substantial number of ORNs possess the well described cAMP transduction pathway. These two subpopulations of ORNs project into different zones of the OB.