Olecular Elements of Olfactory Signal Transduction in Insect Antennae

  • H. Breer
  • I. Boekhoff
  • J. Strotmann
  • K. Raming
  • E. Tareilus
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 39)


The sense of smell is a key for survival and adaptation in the animal world and has been the subject of intense interest and research, however, the mechanisms underlying its function are still largely unknown (Lancet, 1986). In many ways, insects are ideal models for exploring the details of olfactory reception and transduction; they are easy to obtain in large numbers, and the collection of olfactory tissue is mechanically straightforward. Most insects show strong male-female dichotomy in the production of and response to pheromone blends and the relevant odorants are simple lipids, often of closely related components. Furthermore, the olfactory organs are relatively large and accessible for experimental work, these advantages as well as a continuous refinement of electrophysiological and neuroantomical techniques has led to numerous studies which have developed a large body of information on the structure and function of insect olfactory receptor cells (Kaissling, 1986) and the field of research has continued to include elucidation of the mechanisms of central integration of olfactory information and its translation into the motor responses of behaviour (Boeckh and Ernst, 1987; Hildebrand, 1987). Thus, the analysis of the olfactory signal and its neuronal processing is quite advanced in insects, however these biological events are the output of molecular processes in receptor cells which are completely unknown.


Pertussis Toxin Inositol Trisphosphate Bornyl Acetate Olfactory Receptor Cell Olfactory Tissue 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Breer
    • 1
  • I. Boekhoff
    • 1
  • J. Strotmann
    • 1
  • K. Raming
    • 1
  • E. Tareilus
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ZoophysiologyUniversity Stuttgart-HohenheimStuttgart 70West Germany

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