Suppression of odorant responses by odorants in olfactory receptor cells

Science. 1994 Jul 1;265(5168):118-20. doi: 10.1126/science.8016645.


Odorants activate an inward current in vertebrate olfactory receptor cells. Here it is shown, in receptor cells from the newt, that odorants can also suppress this current, by a mechanism that is distinct from inhibition and adaptation. Suppression provides a simple explanation for two seemingly unrelated phenomena: the anomalously long latency of olfactory transduction and the existence of an "off response" at the end of a prolonged stimulus. Suppression may influence the perception of odorants by masking odorant responses and by sharpening the odorant specificities of single cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetophenones / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cyclohexenes
  • Limonene
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Odorants*
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / physiology*
  • Pentanols / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Odorant / physiology*
  • Salamandridae
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Terpenes / pharmacology
  • Time Factors


  • Acetophenones
  • Cyclohexenes
  • Pentanols
  • Receptors, Odorant
  • Terpenes
  • amyl acetate
  • Limonene
  • acetophenone