Description: The role of Ca++ in olfactory responses was investigated with inorganic and organic calcium channel antagonists. Electrophysiological responses to odorants were recorded from frog olfactory mucosa before and after aerosol application of different agents. Electroolfactogram responses were blocked by certain inorganic ions with the order of effectiveness Zn++ >Ln+++>Cd++>Ca++>Co++>Sr++>Mg++. Ba++ potentiated olfactory responses, and is known to potentiate calcium channel-mediated responses in other tissues. Certain local anesthetics which are thought to act through calcium channel blockade were inhibitory to olfactory responses, with the order of effectiveness being dibucaine>tetracaine>procaine. These data support the idea that Ca++ is involved in olfaction, perhaps acting as a current carrier and/or a second messenger. Preliminary experiments on channel localization were performed using a silicon-labeled amine. Attempts to localize the silicon label were inconclusive, although silicon was detected in the olfactory tissue.
Date: August 1985
Creator: Rosick, Edward R. (Edward Rudolph)