Electrophysiological properties and modeling of murine vomeronasal sensory neurons in acute slice preparations

Chem Senses. 2006 Jun;31(5):425-35. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjj047. Epub 2006 Mar 17.


The vomeronasal system is involved in the detection of pheromones in many mammals. Vomeronasal sensory neurons encode the behaviorally relevant information into action potentials that are directly transmitted to the accessory olfactory bulb. We developed a model of the electrical activity of mouse basal vomeronasal sensory neurons, which mimics both the voltage-gated current properties and the firing behavior of these neurons in their near-native state, using a minimal number of parameters. Data were obtained by recordings with the whole-cell voltage-clamp or current-clamp techniques from mouse basal vomeronasal sensory neurons in acute slice preparations. The resting potential ranged from -50 to -70 mV, and current injections of less than 2-10 pA induced tonic firing in most neurons. The experimentally determined firing frequency as a function of injected current was well described by a Michaelis-Menten equation and was exactly reproduced by the model, which could be used in combination with future models that will include details of the mouse vomeronasal transduction cascade.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neurons, Afferent / cytology
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Species Specificity
  • Vomeronasal Organ / cytology
  • Vomeronasal Organ / physiology*