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Histological and electrophysiological properties of crypt cells from the olfactory epithelium of the marine teleost Trachurus symmetricus


  • Oliver Schmachtenberg

    Corresponding author
    1. Centro de Neurociencias de Valparaiso CNV, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Valparaiso, Valparaiso, Chile
    • CNV, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Valparaiso, Avda. Gran Bretania 1111, Valparaíso, 2340000 Chile
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Crypt cells from the olfactory epithelium of the Pacific jack mackerel Trachurus symmetricus were characterized by light and electron microscopy and analyzed in dissociation with the patch-clamp technique in its cell-attached, perforated patch and normal whole-cell mode. Isolated crypt cells remained united with their supporting cells, and both were electrically coupled through gap junctions. Under voltage-clamp, depolarizing voltage steps triggered a transient sodium current, a sustained calcium current, and two types of potassium currents with fast and slow inactivation kinetics. No calcium-dependent potassium current could be observed. The sodium current was blocked by saxitoxin, the calcium current by cobalt and furnidipine, and the potassium currents by tetraethylammonium chloride. In the cell-attached configuration, crypt cells displayed spontaneous spike activity and responded to amino acid solutions with dose-dependent excitation, followed by a period of spike inhibition. These first recordings of individual crypt cells provide the basis for future studies of their odorant specificity, transduction mechanism, and overall function in the fish olfactory epithelium. J. Comp. Neurol. 495:113–121, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.