Int J Biol Sci 2013; 9(7):707-715. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6674

Research Paper

Expression of a GABAB - Receptor in Olfactory Sensory Neurons of Sensilla trichodea on the Male Antenna of the Moth Heliothis virescens

Pablo Pregitzer1, Anna Schultze1, Klaus Raming2, Heinz Breer1, Jürgen Krieger1✉

1. University of Hohenheim, Institute of Physiology, Stuttgart, Germany;
2. Bayer CropScience, Monheim, Germany.

Abstract

In the olfactory pathway of Drosophila, a GABAB receptor mediated presynaptic gain control mechanism at the first synapse between olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) and projection neurons has been suggested to play a critical role in setting the sensitivity and detection range of the sensory system. To approach the question if such a mechanism may be realized in the pheromone recognition system of male moths in this study attempts were made to explore if moth's pheromone-responsive cells express a GABAB- receptor. Employing a combination of genome analysis, RT-PCR experiments and screening of an antennal cDNA library we have identified a cDNA which encodes the GABAB-R1 receptor of Heliothis virescens. Moreover, based on the HvirGABAB-R1 sequence we could predict a GABAB-R1 protein from genome sequences of the silkmoth Bombyx mori. To assess whether HvirGABAB-R1 is expressed in OSNs of male antenna we performed whole-mount in situ hybridization (WM-ISH) experiments. Several HvirGABAB-R1 positive cells were visualized under long sensilla trichodea, known to contain pheromone-responsive OSNs. In parallel it was shown that cells under long trichoid hairs were labelled with pheromone receptor specific probes. In addition, the HvirGABAB-R1 specific probe also labelled several cells under shorter olfactory sensilla, but never stained cells under mechanosensory/gustatory sensilla chaetica. Together, the results indicate that a GABAB receptor is expressed in pheromone-responsive OSNs of H. virescens and suggest a presynaptic gain control mechanism in the axon terminals of these cells.

Keywords: moth, olfaction, GABA, pheromone, in situ hybridization.

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How to cite this article:
Pregitzer P, Schultze A, Raming K, Breer H, Krieger J. Expression of a GABAB - Receptor in Olfactory Sensory Neurons of Sensilla trichodea on the Male Antenna of the Moth Heliothis virescens. Int J Biol Sci 2013; 9(7):707-715. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6674. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v09p0707.htm