Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sense of attraction

20.07.2009
Researchers identify a population of olfactory sensory neurons that is responsible for zebrafish attraction towards amino acids

Many olfactory cues pervade the aquatic environment of fish. These cues stimulate various important behaviors, such as escape from predators, or attraction towards food sources or potential mates.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and are therefore key nutrients in the diet of various animal species, including the zebrafish. Now, a group of scientists led by Yoshihiro Yoshihara and Tetsuya Koide at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Wako has elucidated which neurons are responsible for carrying olfactory information about amino acids in the aquatic environment from the nose to the brain of zebrafish. They found that the activity of these neurons is required to elicit zebrafish attraction towards amino acids in their environment1.

Olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) project from the nose to the olfactory bulb, which is the first relay station for olfactory information in the brain. Each OSN expresses only one type of odorant receptor and responds to a particular set of closely related odors. The OSNs that express the same odorant receptor send their axons together to a specific part of the olfactory bulb.

Yoshihara and colleagues used genetic approaches to express a fluorescent protein in various populations of OSNs. They found that only one of these populations projected to the lateral part of the olfactory bulb, which is known to fire in response to amino acid signals.

When hungry zebrafish were placed into a tank of water with amino acids pumped into one corner, the fish tended to spend more time in the portion of the tank near the amino acids. This suggests that zebrafish are attracted towards the amino acids as a potential source of food. When the researchers blocked synaptic transmission in the population of OSNs that projected to the lateral olfactory bulb, this blocked the so-called ‘attractive behavior’ of the zebrafish towards the amino acids. Blocking synaptic transmission in other populations of OSNs had no effect on this behavior, but did reduce attractive responses of zebrafish to a putative social pheromone in the environment.

According to Yoshihara, “a combination of genetic, anatomical, and behavioral approaches enabled us to provide a direct functional link between different odor inputs and distinct behavioral outputs through segregated olfactory neural circuits from the nose to the brain.” Using similar approaches, Yoshihara says that he and his colleagues “are now investigating neural circuit mechanisms underlying other olfactory behaviors such as escape from predators and memory of mates or related individuals.”

Reference

1. Koide, T., Miyasaka, N., Morimoto, K., Asakawa, K., Urasaki, A., Kawakami, K. & Yoshihara, Y. Olfactory neural circuitry for attraction to amino acids revealed by transposon-mediated gene trap approach in zebrafish. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online 3 June 2009 (doi: 10.1073/pnas.0900470106).

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the RIKEN Laboratory for Neurobiology of Synapse

Saeko Okada | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/research/751/
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/research/751/image_2209.html
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht The Nagoya Protocol Creates Disadvantages for Many Countries when Applied to Microorganisms
05.12.2016 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified

05.12.2016 | Information Technology

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>