Adrenaline is known to affect action potentials induced by the step current injection in an olfactory receptor cell (ORC). It is unclear, however, whether it also modulates action potentials induced by odor stimuli. In the present study, the effects of adrenaline on action potentials in ORCs were investigated quantitatively using a computer simulation. Adrenaline suppressed simulated action potentials induced by step current injection near threshold, and increased spike frequency to strong stimuli by 8-25%. Similar effects were obtained by applying a pseudo-transduction current to a model cell. Surprisingly, adrenaline markedly increased spike frequency to strong stimuli by 30-140%, and increased the slope of the stimulus-response relation compared with that of the step current injection. This suggests that adrenaline enhances odorant contrast in olfactory perception by modulating signal encoding of ORCs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems
- Physiology (medical)
- Behavioral Neuroscience