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TRIS-buffer decreases rat's sensitivity to odorants

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Weiler, E., & Apfelbach, R. (2003). TRIS-buffer decreases rat's sensitivity to odorants. Poster presented at 5th Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society, 29th Göttingen Neurobiology Conference, Göttingen, Germany.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-782C-4
TRISis commonly used as a buffer in histology but also in medicine to cure metabolic acidosis, as a gastrointestinal and diuretic drug as well as a solvent of drugs delivered in aerosol containers. Mainly because of the application as a solvent in aerosol containers the question arose weather TRISa ffects odor detection ability. Using operant conditioning, male Wistar rats were trained in an air dilution olfactometer to respond to low level concentrations (10-3 % of vapor saturation) of odorants (ethyl acetate or n-octanal) but not to clean air. Rats mastered this task with 90-100 % correct responses. Intranasal perfusion of the olfactory mucosa with Ringer solution did not impair detection performance. However, intranasal perfusion with TRIS-buffer resulted in a reduced detection performance 30 min after treatment of the olfactory mucosa to 61.4 ± 5.6 % (ethyl acetate) and 49.3 ± 5.3 % (n-octanal) correct responses, which represent random choice levels. Increase of odor concentration to 10-2 vol % 50 min after flushing the nasal cavity with TRIS-buffer improved detection performance (95 % correct answers). Four hours after treatment, the detection performance returned to pretreatment levels (90.0 ± 12.2 % ethyl acetate; 91.0 ± 10.2 % n-octanal). We conclude that TRISr educes (but not totally inhibits) olfactory sensitivity unspecifically and reversibly probably by changing either 1) the pH of the mucus or receptor cells and therefore the activity of enzymes in the signaling cascade or 2) by direct interaction with the odorant ligands or the odorant receptors. The underlying mechanisms have to be evaluated.