High correlation between microvillous olfactory receptor cell abundance and sensitivity to pheromones in olfactory nerve-sectioned goldfish

H. P. Zippel, P. W. Sorensen, A. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

1. To determine whether microvillous olfactory receptor cells mediate responses to pheromonal cues, the olfactory nerves of mature male goldfish were axotomized and both the olfactory and behavioral sensitivity of these animals to olfactory stimuli investigated after which the histological condition of their olfactory epithelia was determined. 2. Behavioral responsiveness to food odor returned within 2 weeks but responsiveness to sexually-active females (pheromones) took 4 10 weeks to return. 3. Electro- olfactogram recordings from the olfactory epithelium of axotomized fish found that olfactory responsiveness to amino acids and pheromones changed little during the first week subsequent to axotomy. However, olfactory sensitivity decreased rapidly during the second week. During the course of the third week, electro-olfactogram sensitivity to amino acids remained while exposure to pheromones evoked no recordable electro-olfactogram. During week 4, sensitivity to amino acids increased further, and weak sensitivity to some pheromones became evident. Further recovery of electro-olfactogram sensitivity to all odorants was slow and erratic over the next 6 months, particularly to the pheromones. 4. Histological examination of the olfactory epithelia of axotomized fish demonstrated that while ciliated receptor cells were present within 2 weeks, microvillous receptor cells took approximately 4 weeks to regenerate. 5. Together these data suggest that microvillous receptor cells mediate responsiveness to pheromones in this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-52
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology - A Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Volume180
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1996

Keywords

  • Amino acid
  • Electro-olfactogram
  • Microvillous receptor cell
  • Pheromone
  • Regeneration

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