Journal Article

Taurine Action on Mitral Cell Activity in the Frog Olfactory Bulb <i>In Vivo</i>

M.A. Chaput, B. Palouzier-Paulignan, J.C. Delaleu and P. Duchamp-Viret

in Chemical Senses

Volume 29, issue 1, pages 83-91
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 0379-864X
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1464-3553 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjh008
Taurine Action on Mitral Cell Activity in the Frog Olfactory Bulb In Vivo

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Taurine (TAU) is a free amino acid that is particularly abundant in the olfactory bulb. In the frog, TAU is located in the terminations of the primary olfactory axons and in the granular cell layer. TAU action seems to be associated with gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), the main inhibitory neurotransmitter involved in the processing of the sensory signal. The present study was designed to assess the action of TAU in vivo during the olfactory network’s stimulation by odors. It was performed by recording the single-unit activity of mitral cells, the main bulbar output neurons. TAU effects were tested on both their spontaneous and odor-induced firing activity. Interactions between TAU and GABA were examined by analyzing TAU effects under the selective blocking action of GABAA or GABAB antagonists. TAU was found to suppress the spontaneous firing of mitral cells, mainly without altering their odor response properties. By testing GABA antagonists, we further show that TAU action is associated with GABAergic inhibitory mechanisms mainly via GABAB receptors. Thus, TAU action clearly reduces background activity in favor of the emergence of the odor-induced activity in the same manner as GABA action does via GABAB receptors. As a conclusion, we propose that, in the frog olfactory bulb, the joint actions of TAU and GABA may favor the processing of the primary sensory information by increasing the signal to noise ratio.

Keywords: frog, GABA, GABAB and GABAA receptors, odor coding, olfactory bulb, taurine

Journal Article.  6169 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Molecular and Cell Biology

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