Hernandez-Clavijo, 2021

2021 - eNeuro. 2021 Sep 15;8(5):ENEURO.0179-21.2021. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0179-21.2021. Print 2021 Sep-Oct.PMID: 34433575 Free PMC article.

TMEM16A and TMEM16B Modulate Pheromone-Evoked Action Potential Firing in Mouse Vomeronasal Sensory Neurons.

Hernandez-Clavijo A, Sarno N, Gonzalez-Velandia KY, Degen R, Fleck D, Rock JR, Spehr M, Menini A, Pifferi S.


The mouse vomeronasal system controls several social behaviors. Pheromones and other social cues are detected by sensory neurons in the vomeronasal organ (VNO). Stimuli activate a transduction cascade that leads to membrane potential depolarization, increase in cytosolic Ca2+ level, and increased firing. The Ca2+-activated chloride channels TMEM16A and TMEM16B are co-expressed within microvilli of vomeronasal neurons, but their physiological role remains elusive. Here, we investigate the contribution of each of these channels to vomeronasal neuron firing activity by comparing wild-type (WT) and knock-out (KO) mice. Performing loose-patch recordings from neurons in acute VNO slices, we show that spontaneous activity is modified by Tmem16a KO, indicating that TMEM16A, but not TMEM16B, is active under basal conditions. Upon exposure to diluted urine, a rich source of mouse pheromones, we observe significant changes in activity. Vomeronasal sensory neurons (VSNs) from Tmem16a cKO and Tmem16b KO mice show shorter interspike intervals (ISIs) compared with WT mice, indicating that both TMEM16A and TMEM16B modulate the firing pattern of pheromone-evoked activity in VSNs.


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