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      Relationship between structure and function of antennal chemo-, hygro-, and thermoreceptive sensilla in Periplaneta americana.

      Cell and Tissue Research

      Animals, Chemoreceptor Cells, ultrastructure, Electrophysiology, Humans, Microscopy, Electron, Microscopy, Electron, Scanning, Odors, Periplaneta, physiology, Sensory Receptor Cells, Thermoreceptors, Water

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          On the antennae of Periplaneta americana, 25 chemo-, hygro- or thermosensitive sensilla were investigated electrophysiologically and, after marking, by transmission and scanning electron microscopy. A clear-cut relationship of functional types to structural types was observed. Two different stimulus conducting structures were observed: a) pore tubules which are found only in smooth, single-walled sensory pegs and b) secretion-filled canals which occur only in grooved double-walled sensilla. Temperature- and humidity-sensitive receptors occur only in double-walled sensilla with secretion material as the stimulus conducting system. Olfactory sensory cells were found in both types, however, those with a specific sensitivity for short-chain n-alcohols are restricted to single-walled pegs with pore tubules, while those which are most sensitive to short-chain n-acids and amines are found in double-walled sensilla, sometimes together with thermosensitive units. The stimulus conducting systems may control the access of odorous substances to the dendritic membranes and thus contribute to the discriminatory properties of the sensilla.

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