Authors:
V Untiet, LM Moeller, X Ibarra-Soria, G Sánchez-Andrade, M Stricker, EM Neuhaus, DW Logan, T Gensch, M Spehr
Journal name: 
Chem Senses
Citation info: 
41(8):669-676
Abstract: 
In rodents, the vomeronasal system controls social and sexual behavior. However, several mechanistic aspects of sensory signaling in the vomeronasal organ remain unclear. Here, we investigate the biophysical basis of a recently proposed vomeronasal signal transduction component-a Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) current. As the physiological role of such a current is a direct function of the Cl(-) equilibrium potential, we determined the intracellular Cl(-) concentration in dendritic knobs of vomeronasal neurons. Quantitative fluorescence lifetime imaging of a Cl(-)-sensitive dye at the apical surface of the intact vomeronasal neuroepithelium revealed increased cytosolic Cl(-) levels in dendritic knobs, a substantially lower Cl(-) concentration in vomeronasal sustentacular cells, and an apparent Cl(-) gradient in vomeronasal neurons along their dendritic apicobasal axis. Together, our data provide a biophysical basis for sensory signal amplification in vomeronasal neuron microvilli by opening Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) channels.
DOI: 
http://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjw077
E-pub date: 
31 Oct 2016