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Mammals taste many compounds yet use a sensory palette consisting of only five basic taste modalities: sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami (the taste of monosodium glutamate). Although this repertoire may seem modest, it provides animals with critical information about the nature and quality of food. Sour taste detection functions as an important sensory(More)
Under physiological conditions, astrocytes not only passively support and nourish adjacent neurons, but also actively modulate neuronal transmission by releasing "glial transmitters," such as glutamate, ATP, and D-serine. Unlike the case for neurons, the mechanisms by which glia release transmitters are essentially unknown. Here, by using electrochemical(More)
A comparative study was carried out on the inactivation of Na+ channels in two types of endocrine cells in rats, beta-cells and adrenal chromaffin cells (ACCs), using patch-clamp techniques. The beta-cells were very sensitive to hyperpolarization; the Na+ currents increased ninefold when the holding potential was shifted from -70 mV to -120 mV. ACCs were(More)
The taste system is one of our fundamental senses, responsible for detecting and responding to sweet, bitter, umami, salty, and sour stimuli. In the tongue, the five basic tastes are mediated by separate classes of taste receptor cells each finely tuned to a single taste quality. We explored the logic of taste coding in the brain by examining how sweet,(More)
Chronic opiate use induces opiate dependence, which is characterized by extremely unpleasant physical and emotional feelings after drug use is terminated. Both the rewarding effects of a drug and the desire to avoid withdrawal symptoms motivate continued drug use, and the nucleus accumbens is important for orchestrating both processes. While multiple inputs(More)
Exocytosis proceeds by either full fusion or 'kiss-and-run' between vesicle and plasma membrane. Switching between these two modes permits the cell to regulate the kinetics and amount of secretion. Here we show that ATP receptor activation reduces secretion downstream from cytosolic Ca2+ elevation in rat adrenal chromaffin cells. This reduction is mediated(More)
Telocytes (TCs), a new type of interstitial cells, were identified in many different organs and tissues of mammalians and humans. In this study, we show the presence, in human oesophagus, of cells having the typical features of TCs in lamina propria of the mucosa, as well as in muscular layers. We used transmission electron microscopy (TEM),(More)
A novel "long chain" toxin BmP09 has been purified and characterized from the venom of the Chinese scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch. The toxin BmP09 is composed of 66 amino acid residues, including eight cysteines, with a mass of 7721.0 Da. Compared with the B. martensi Karsch AS-1 as a Na(+) channel blocker (7704.8 Da), the BmP09 has an exclusive difference(More)
Exocytosis proceeds by either full fusion or 'kiss-and-run' between vesicle and plasma membrane. Switching between these two modes permits the cell to regulate the kinetics and amount of secretion. Here we show that ATP receptor activation reduces secretion downstream from cytosolic Ca 21 elevation in rat adrenal chromaffin cells. This reduction is mediated(More)
A novel conotoxin, kappa-conotoxin (kappa-BtX), has been purified and characterized from the venom of a worm-hunting cone snail, Conus betulinus. The toxin, with four disulfide bonds, shares no sequence homology with any other conotoxins. Based on a partial amino acid sequence, its cDNA was cloned and sequenced. The deduced sequence consists of a 26-residue(More)