In the olfactory (antennal) lobe of the moth Manduca sexta, olfactory receptor axons strongly influence the distribution and morphology of glial cells. In the present study, we asked whether the development of the electrophysiological properties of the glial cells is influenced by the receptor axons. Whole-cell currents were measured in antennal lobe glial cells in acute brain slices prepared from animals at different stages of metamorphic development (stages 3, 6, and 12). Outward currents were induced by depolarizing voltage steps from a holding potential of -70 mV. At all developmental stages investigated, the outward currents were partly blocked by bath application of the potassium channel blocker 4-aminopyridine (4AP, 10 mM) or by including tetraethylammonium (TEA, 30 mM) in the pipette solution. The relative contribution of the 4AP-sensitive current to the outward current increased from 18% at stages 3 and 6 to 42% at stage 12, while the TEA-sensitive current increased from 18% at stage 3 to 81% at stage 6, and then declined again to 40% at stage 12. In contrast, in the absence of receptor axons, these changes in the contribution of the TEA- and 4AP-sensitive currents to the total outward current did not occur; rather, the current profile remained in the most immature state (stage 3). The results suggest that olfactory receptor axons are essential for development of the mature pattern of glial potassium currents.
- Glial cells
- Ionic current
- Patch clamp
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience