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Neuron. 2002 Mar 28;34(1):115-26.

Dynamic gating of spike propagation in the mitral cell lateral dendrites.

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Yale University Department of Neurobiology, 333 Cedar Street, C303 SHM, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


A unique feature of the olfactory bulb circuit is the long projection of the mitral cell lateral dendrites. Through dendrodendritic reciprocal synapses, these dendrites connect one olfactory glomerular module to hundreds of others; but the functional principles governing these extensive lateral interactions remain largely unknown. Here we report that the spatial extent of action potential propagation in these dendrites is dynamically regulated by inhibitory synapses distributed along the dendrites. The extent of propagation determines the spatial pattern of Ca(2+) influx and thus the range and number of dendrodendritic synapses to be activated. Accordingly, network control of spike traffic in the mitral cell lateral dendrites can mediate dynamic interaction with different combinations of glomerular modules in response to different odorants.

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