This study tested whether differences in sensitivity between the upper and lower olfactory epithelia of Solea senegalensis are associated with different odorant receptors and transduction pathways, using the electro-olfactogram. Receptor mechanisms were assessed by cross-adaptation with amino acids (L-cysteine, L-phenylalanine and 1-methyl-L-tryptophan) and bile acids (taurocholic acid and cholic acid). This suggested that relatively specific receptors exist for 1-methyl-L-tryptophan and L-phenylalanine (food-related odorants) in the lower epithelium, and for taurocholic acid (conspecific-derived odorant) in the upper. Inhibition by U73122 [a phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor] suggested that olfactory responses to amino acids were mediated mostly, but not entirely, by PLC-mediated transduction (IC50 ; 15-55 nM), whereas bile acid responses were mediated by both PLC and adenylate cyclase-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (AC-cAMP) (using SQ-22536; an AC inhibitor). Simultaneous application of both drugs rarely inhibited responses completely, suggesting possible involvement of non-PLC and non-AC mediated mechanisms. For aromatic amino acids and bile acids, there were differences in the contribution of each transduction pathway (PLC, AC and non-PLC and non-AC) between the two epithelia. These results suggest that differences in sensitivity of the two epithelia are associated with differences in odorant receptors and transduction mechanisms.
Keywords: adenylate cyclase; amino acid; asymmetry; bile acid; electro-olfactogram; phospholipase C.
© 2013 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.