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Neuroscientist. 2004 Aug;10(4):292-303.

Inhibitory interneurons in the olfactory bulb: from development to function.

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Laboratory of Perception and Memory, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France.


Identifying and defining the characteristic features of the inhibitory neurons in the nervous system has become essential for achieving a cellular understanding of complex brain activities. For this, the olfactory bulb is ideally suited because it is readily accessible, it is a laminated structure where local interneurons can be easily distinguished from projecting neurons, and, more important, GABAergic interneurons are continuously replaced. How the newly generated neurons integrate into a preexisting neural network and how basic network functions are maintained when a large percentage of neurons are subjected to continuous renewal are important questions that have recently received new insights. Here, it is seen that the production of bulbar interneurons is specifically adapted to experience-dependent regulation of adult neural networks. In particular, the authors report the degree of sensitivity of the bulbar neurogenesis to the activity level of sensory inputs and, in turn, how the adult neurogenesis adjusts the neural network functioning to optimize information processing. By maintaining a constitutive neurogenesis sensitive to environmental cues, this neuronal recruitment leads to improving sensory abilities. This review brings together recently described properties and emerging principles of interneuron functions that may convey, into bulbar neuronal networks, a degree of circuit adaptation unmatched by synaptic plasticity alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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