The fly has a receptor cell highly specialized for the taste of sugars. We introduced inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3), Ca2+, or a phorbol ester, 12-deoxyphorbol 13-isobutylate 20-acetate (DPBA), into the cell and investigated their effects on the response to sucrose. The sugar receptor cell generates impulses during constant stimulation with sucrose, but the impulse frequency gradually declines as the cell adapts to the stimulus. Thus, this gradual reduction of the impulse frequency is a direct manifestation of adaptation of the cell. These reagents accelerated the gradual reduction of the impulse frequency, although the initial impulse frequency was little affected. In contrast to these reagents, glycoletherdiamine-tetraacetate (EGTA) retarded the gradual reduction of the impulse frequency. Moreover, when IP3 and DPBA were applied together, the gradual reduction of the impulse frequency was more accelerated than when either IP3 or DPBA was applied. When IP3 and EGTA were applied together, however, the accelerating effect of IP3 tended to be canceled. Based on these results, we hypothesized that an intracellular cascade involving inositol phospholipid hydrolysis, intracellular Ca2+ mobilization, and protein kinase C-mediated phosphorylation promotes adaptation of the sugar receptor cell.

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