Localization of calcium entry through calcium channels in olfactory receptor neurones using a laser scanning microscope and the calcium indicator dyes Fluo-3 and Fura-Red

Cell Calcium. 1994 May;15(5):341-8. doi: 10.1016/0143-4160(94)90009-4.


The intracellular calcium concentration [Ca2+]i in olfactory receptor neurones of Xenopus laevis was imaged with high spatial and temporal resolution. A new method using a mixture of the calcium indicator dyes Fluo-3 and Fura-Red was employed. The fluorescence patterns in two wavelength bands were measured on the emission side of a confocal laser scanning microscope, and the ratio R of the fluorescence intensities was taken as an estimate of [Ca2+]i. When the neurones were depolarized by elevating the extracellular potassium concentration [K+]o they showed one of three types of responses: a fast increase in [Ca2+]i, a slow increase in [Ca2+]i, or no change in [Ca2+]i. The fast increase in [Ca2+]i took place in the soma compartment. For at least 4 s after the onset of depolarization the calcium distribution in the dendrite remained essentially unchanged. To study the fast increase with high time resolution, line scan images were taken. The neurones were depolarized for brief periods applying a solution containing high [K+] onto the soma from an application pipette. The fast increase in [Ca2+]i began with a delay of about 200 ms and went from the resting concentration to about 110 nM above resting concentration. Following the depolarization, recovery from elevated [Ca2+]i to resting levels had a time constant of about 15 s. The slow response seemed to depend on the removal of [Na+] from the bath rather than on the elevated [K+] in the bath. The response was also observed with Cd2+, Ni2+, and Co2+ (1.5 mM each) in the bath.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Aniline Compounds*
  • Animals
  • Benzofurans*
  • Calcium Channels / chemistry*
  • Imidazoles*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence*
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / chemistry*
  • Potassium
  • Xanthenes*
  • Xenopus laevis


  • Aniline Compounds
  • Benzofurans
  • Calcium Channels
  • Imidazoles
  • Xanthenes
  • fura red
  • Fluo-3
  • Potassium