The Ca2+-activated Cl¯ channel TMEM16B carries up to 90% of the transduction current evoked by odorant stimulation in olfactory sensory neurons and control the number of action potential firing and therefore the length of the train of action potentials. A loss of function approach revealed that TMEM16B is required for olfactory-driven behaviors such as tracking unfamiliar odors. Here, we used the electro-olfactogram (EOG) technique to investigate the contribution of TMEM16B to odorant transduction in the whole olfactory epithelium. Surprisingly, we found that EOG responses from Tmem16b knock out mice have a bigger amplitude compared to those of wild type. Moreover, the kinetics of EOG responses is faster in absence of TMEM16B, while the ability to adapt to repeated stimulation is altered in knock out mice. The larger EOG responses in Tmem16b knock out may be the results of the removal of the clamping and/or shunting action of the Ca2+-activated Cl¯ currents leading to the paradox of having smaller transduction current but larger generator potential.

This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (