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Molecular Recognition of Pheromones and Intracellular Transduction Mechanisms in the Vomeronasal System pp. 303-316 $100.00
Authors:  (Makoto Kashiwayanagi, Department of Sensory Physiology, Asahikawa Medical University, Asahikawa, Japan)
Abstract:
Pheromones affect gonadal functions and sexual behaviors. They are received by the vomeronasal sensory neurons in the vomeronasal organ as well as by the olfactory sensory neurons at the main olfactory organ. The mechanism of discrimination and transduction in the pheromone reception is simple in contrast to the reception of general odorants in the main olfactory system. Olfactory sensory neurons respond to various kinds of odorants, which have various molecular structures and odor qualities. Most vomeronasal sensory neurons, however, receive only one kind of pheromone. In rodents, pheromones are received with two types of pheromone receptors such as VR1s and VR2s, which exist at the upper and lower layers of the vomeronasal sensory epithelium. Binding of pheromones with VR1s and VR2s activates phospholipase C via Gi and Go, respectively, which in turn induces production of diacylglycerol (DAG) and inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3). DAG activates TRPC2, a TRP channel, which induces depolarization of the vomeronasal sensory neuron. In general, DAG has been considered as only the second messenger in the pheromonal reception. However, in mice lacking TRPC2, 2-heptanone, a mouse pheromone, and urine containing various pheromones of high concentration induced pheromonal responses in the vomeronasal sensory neuron. Previously, we showed that dialysis of IP3 into the vomeronasal sensory neurons of the rat and turtle induced inward currents with increases in membrane conductance. We also showed that dialysis of cAMP, which plays a role as a second messenger in olfactory sensory neurons, induced inward currents in turtle vomeronasal sensory neurons. These results suggest that IP3 and/or cAMP also play roles as second messengers in the pheromonal reception. The mechanisms of pheromonal reception in vomeronasal sensory neurons are described in this chapter. 


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Molecular Recognition of Pheromones and Intracellular Transduction Mechanisms in the Vomeronasal System pp. 303-316