Measuring activity in olfactory receptor neurons in Drosophila: Focus on spike amplitude.


Olfactory responses at the receptor level have been thoroughly described in Drosophila melanogaster by electrophysiological methods. Single sensilla recordings (SSRs) measure neuronal activity in intact individuals in response to odors. For sensilla that contain more than one olfactory receptor neuron (ORN), their different spontaneous spike amplitudes can distinguish each signal under resting conditions. However, activity is mainly described by spike frequency. Some reports on ORN response dynamics studied two components in the olfactory responses of ORNs: a fast component that is reflected by the spike frequency and a slow component that is observed in the LFP (local field potential, the single sensillum counterpart of the electroantennogram, EAG). However, no apparent correlation was found between the two elements. In this report, we show that odorant stimulation produces two different effects in the fast component, affecting spike frequency and spike amplitude. Spike amplitude clearly diminishes at the beginning of a response, but it recovers more slowly than spike frequency after stimulus cessation, suggesting that ORNs return to resting conditions long after they recover a normal spontaneous spike frequency. Moreover, spike amplitude recovery follows the same kinetics as the slow voltage component measured by the LFP, suggesting that both measures are connected. These results were obtained in ab2 and ab3 sensilla in response to two odors at different concentrations. Both spike amplitude and LFP kinetics depend on odorant, concentration and neuron, suggesting that like the EAG they may reflect olfactory information.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2016.09.003

Cite this paper

@article{Martn2016MeasuringAI, title={Measuring activity in olfactory receptor neurons in Drosophila: Focus on spike amplitude.}, author={Fernando Mart{\'i}n and Esther Alcorta}, journal={Journal of insect physiology}, year={2016}, volume={95}, pages={23-41} }