Mechanisms underlying suppression of T- and L-type Ca2+ currents (I(Ca,T) and I(Ca,L)) by odorants were investigated in newt olfactory receptor cells (ORCs) using the whole-cell version of the patch-clamp technique. Under voltage clamp, odorants (amyl acetate, limonene and acetophenone) reversibly suppressed I(Ca,T) and I(Ca,L). These currents disappeared completely within 150 ms following amyl acetate puffs, and recovered in approximately 1 s after the washout. Hyperpolarization of the membrane greatly relieved the odorant block of I(Ca,T) and I(Ca,L). The activation curves of both currents were not changed significantly by odorants, while their inactivation curves were shifted to negative voltages. Half-inactivation voltages of I(Ca,T) were -66 mV (control), -102 mV (amyl acetate), -101 mV (limonene) and -105 mV (acetophenone) (all 0.3 mM); those of I(Ca,L) were -33 mV (control), -61 mV (amyl acetate), -59 mV (limonene), and -63 mV (acetophenone) (all 0.3 mM). These phenomena are similar to the effects of local anesthetics on I(Ca) in various preparations and also similar to the effects of odorants on I(Na) in ORCs, suggesting that these types of suppression are caused by the same mechanism. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
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