Neural responses to sex pheromones and food-related odorants were recorded from single olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) in the olfactory epithelium of male goldfish. Very few ORNs responded to sex pheromones and those that did were tuned to one compound. In contrast, amino acid-sensitive units were common and often responded to another class of food odor.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||2|
|Journal||Fish Physiology and Biochemistry|
|State||Published - 2003|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study demonstrates that goldfish ORNs are specialized to detect odorants associated with a single biological function. While pheromone-sensitive ORNs are relatively few in number and respond to only a single pheromone with high specificity, ORNs that respond to food stimuli are much more abundant and appear more broadly tuned. The distribution of pheromone-sensitive ORNs suggested that pheromone-sensitive ORNs might be microvillar ORNs or crypt cells. We conclude that the critical information about biologically relevant odorants in- cluding sex pheromones is encoded by the activity of unique sets of ORNs at the periphery. This study was funded by NIH/DC03792.