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Lactic acid-sensitive receptors on the antennae of the mosquito,Aedes aegypti

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  1. 1.

    A pair of chemoreceptor neurons sensitive to lactic acid (LA) was identified in the grooved-peg (A3) sensilla on the antennae of the mosquito,Aedes aegypti.

  2. 2.

    One chemoreceptor responded to LA with an increase in spike frequency, whereas the other chemoreceptor exhibited a decrease in spike frequency when presented with LA.

  3. 3.

    CO2, either alone or in combination with LA, elicited no change in spike frequency of either LA-sensitive neuron, indicating that the behavioral synergism of CO2 and LA occurs centrally and not at the primary receptor level.

  4. 4.

    Water vapor induced such a weak excitatory response in both LA-sensitive neurons that their involvement in the detection of water vapor is questioned.

  5. 5.

    The insect repellent, DEET, inhibited both LA-sensitive neurons. DEET plus LA was additive in the LA-inhibited cell, whereas the LA response of the LA-excited cell was attenuated by DEET.

  6. 6.

    The reaction spectra of the LA-sensitive neurons were determined using pure compounds (Table 1).

  7. 7.

    The importance of LA in the host-finding behavior of the mosquito is discussed.

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This investigation was supported by NIH Research Grant AI 10954.

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Davis, E.E., Sokolove, P.G. Lactic acid-sensitive receptors on the antennae of the mosquito,Aedes aegypti . J. Comp. Physiol. 105, 43–54 (1976).

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