Journal Article

Firing Properties of Accessory Olfactory Bulb Mitral/Tufted Cells in Response to Urine Delivered to the Vomeronasal Organ of Gray Short-Tailed Opossums

Jing-Ji Zhang, Guang-Zhe Huang and Mimi Halpern

in Chemical Senses

Volume 32, issue 4, pages 355-360
Published in print May 2007 | ISSN: 0379-864X
Published online February 2007 | e-ISSN: 1464-3553 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjm005
Firing Properties of Accessory Olfactory Bulb Mitral/Tufted Cells in Response to Urine Delivered to the Vomeronasal Organ of Gray Short-Tailed Opossums

Show Summary Details

Preview

In comparison with many mammals, there is limited knowledge of the role of pheromones in conspecific communication in the gray short-tailed opossum. Here we report that mitral/tufted (M/T) cells of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) of male opossums responded to female urine but not to male urine with two distinct patterns: excitation followed by inhibition or inhibition. Either pattern could be mimicked by application of guanosine 5′-O-3-thiotriphosphate and blocked by guanosine 5′-O-2-thiodiphosphate, indicating that the response of neurons in this pathway is through a G-protein–coupled receptor mechanism. In addition, the inhibitor of phospholipase C (PLC), U73122, significantly blocked urine-induced responses. Male and female urine were ineffective as stimuli for M/T cells in the AOB of female opossums. These results indicate that urine of diestrous females contains a pheromone that directly stimulates vomeronasal neurons through activation of PLC by G-protein–coupled receptor mechanisms and that the response to urine is sexually dimorphic.

Keywords: accessory olfactory bulb; opossum; urine; vomeronasal organ

Journal Article.  2972 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Molecular and Cell Biology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.