Most of the cells in our bodies are chemosensitive. Cells of the immune system can detect an enormous variety of antigens; metabolism and cellular growth are controlled or influenced by hormones and growth factors; nerve cells are stimulated by neurotransmitters; and specialized cells involved in the control of cardiorespiratory function measure the partial pressure of O2 or CO2. Olfactory receptor (OR) and taste receptor cells are chemosensitive in a somewhat stricter sense: they enable us to sample and react to chemical stimuli in our environment. This chapter will, however, show that the cellular mechanisms for detecting odorants or taste stimuli on the one hand and neurotransmitters and hormones on the other are very similar.


Olfactory Bulb Olfactory Receptor Mitral Cell Olfactory Neuron Olfactory Receptor Neuron 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Schild

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