Transduction mechanisms in the olfactory and vomeronasal organs of turtles.

T. Shoji, S. Enomoto, M. Taniguchi, K. Kurihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


It is generally believed that odorants bind to receptor proteins and activate cAMP-dependent channels located in olfactory cilia. In the present paper, we discuss whether or not this mechanism holds for in vivo transduction in the olfactory and vomeronasal organs of a turtle: (1) Elimination of salts from the olfactory epithelium did not affect the responses to odorants; changes in concentration of NaCl or CaCl2 did not affect the olfactory responses. (2) The sensitivity of the vomeronasal system to various general odorants was essentially similar to that of the olfactory system, although the vomeronasal cells have no cilia. Elimination of salts from the surface of the vomeronasal organ, similar to the olfactory system, did not affect responses to odorants. (3) Liposomes having certain lipid compositions responded to odorants with a sensitivity comparable to that in the olfactory system. The liposomes containing phosphatidylserine (PS) exhibited strong responses, especially to fatty acids. (4) Application of PS-containing liposomes to the olfactory epithelium greatly enhanced the responses to fatty acids. The results suggest that the cation channels located at olfactory cilia may not contribute to in vivo olfactory transduction. The results also suggest that lipids in olfactory receptor membranes are important in odor reception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-197
Number of pages6
JournalBrain, behavior and evolution
Issue number3-5
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Transduction mechanisms in the olfactory and vomeronasal organs of turtles.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this