Nonselective suppression of voltage-gated currents by odorants in the newt olfactory receptor cells

J Gen Physiol. 1997 Feb;109(2):265-72. doi: 10.1085/jgp.109.2.265.


Effects of odorants on voltage-gated ionic channels were investigated in isolated newt olfactory receptor cells by using the whole cell version of the patch-clamp technique. Under voltage clamp, membrane depolarization to voltages between -90 mV and +40 mV from a holding potential (Vh) of -100 mV generated time- and voltage-dependent current responses; a rapidly (< 15 ms) decaying initial inward current and a late outward current. When odorants (1 mM amyl acetate, 1 mM acetophenone, and 1 mM limonene) were applied to the recorded cell, the voltage-gated currents were significantly reduced. The dose-suppression relations of amyl acetate for individual current components (Na+ current: I(Na), T-type Ca2+ current: I(Ca), T, L-type Ca2+ current: I(Ca), L, delayed rectifier K+ current: I(KV) and Ca2(+)-activated K+ current: IK(Ca)) could be fitted by the Hill equation. Half-blocking concentrations for each current were 0.11 mM (INa), 0.15 mM (ICa,T), 0.14 mM (ICa,L), 1.7 mM (IKV), and 0.17 mM (IK(Ca)), and Hill coefficient was 1.4 (INa), 1.0 (ICa,T), 1.1 (ICa,L), 1.0 (IKV), and 1.1 (IK(Ca)), suggesting that the inward current is affected more strongly than the outward current. The activation curve of INa was not changed significantly by amyl acetate, while the inactivation curve was shifted to negative voltages; half-activation voltages were -53 mV at control, -66 mV at 0.01 mM, and -84 mV at 0.1 mM. These phenomena are similar to the suppressive effects of local anesthetics (lidocaine and benzocaine) on INa in various preparations, suggesting that both types of suppression are caused by the same mechanism. The nonselective blockage of ionic channels observed here is consistent with the previous notion that the suppression of the transduction current by odorants is due to the direst blockage of transduction channels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Electrophysiology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Ion Channel Gating / drug effects*
  • Ion Channels / drug effects*
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Odorants*
  • Olfactory Mucosa / drug effects
  • Olfactory Mucosa / innervation
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / drug effects*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Pentanols / pharmacology
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Sodium Channels / drug effects
  • Sodium Channels / metabolism
  • Urodela / physiology*


  • Ion Channels
  • Pentanols
  • Sodium Channels
  • amyl acetate