Influence of blood meal on the responsiveness of olfactory receptor neurons in antennal sensilla trichodea of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti

K P Siju, Sharon R Hill, Bill S Hansson, Rickard Ignell
Journal of Insect Physiology 2010, 56 (6): 659-65
In female Aedes aegypti L. mosquitoes, a blood meal induces physiological and behavioral changes. Previous studies have shown that olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) housed in grooved peg sensilla on the antennae of Ae. aegypti down-regulate their sensitivity to lactic acid, a key component driving host-seeking behavior, which correlates with observed changes in the host-seeking behavior of this species. In the present study, we performed electrophysiological recordings from the most abundant antennal sensillum type, sensilla trichodea. Our results indicate that the response spectra of ORNs contained within most trichoid sensilla do not change in response to blood feeding. However, we observe an increase in sensitivity to primarily indole and phenolic compounds in neurons housed within four of the five functional types of short blunt tipped II trichoid sensilla, both at 24 and 72h post-blood feeding, which was more pronounced at 24h than 72h. Furthermore, sensitivity to undecanone, acetic acid and propionic acid was observed to increase 72h post-blood meal. Considering the timing of these changes, we believe that these neurons may be involved in driving the orientation behavior of female mosquitoes to oviposition sites, which are known to release these compounds.

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