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Trends Neurosci. 2008 Aug;31(8):392-400. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2008.05.006. Epub 2008 Jul 5.

Origin and function of olfactory bulb interneuron diversity.

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  • 1Laboratory of Perception and Memory, Pasteur Institute, CNRS URA 2182, Paris Cedex, France.


In adult rodents, subventricular zone (SVZ) astrocytes (B cells) function as primary progenitors in the generation of new neurons that migrate to the olfactory bulb (OB), where they differentiate into multiple types of interneurons. It has been generally considered that individual adult SVZ stem cells are capable of generating different types of neurons and glial cells. However, recent studies indicate that these adult SVZ primary progenitors are heterogeneous and predetermined to generate specific types of neurons. Surprisingly, OB interneurons are generated by stem cells not only in the walls of the lateral ventricle facing the striatum but also in the rostral migratory stream and walls of the lateral ventricle facing the cortex and the septum. SVZ B cells in different locations within this extensive germinal region generate different kinds of interneurons. General physiological characteristics of major classes of OB interneurons have begun to emerge, but the functional contribution of each subtype remains unknown. The mosaic organization of the SVZ offers a unique opportunity to understand the origin of interneuron diversity and how this assortment of neurons contributes to plasticity of postnatal olfactory circuits.

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