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Neuroscience. 2005;134(3):1069-80.

Odor response properties of neighboring mitral/tufted cells in the rat olfactory bulb.

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Fisiologia y Biofisica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile y Centro de Neurosciencias Integradas, ICM, Casilla 70005 Santiago 7, Chile.


Olfactory perception initiates in the nasal epithelium wherefrom olfactory receptor neurons--expressing the same receptor protein--project and converge in two different glomeruli within each olfactory bulb. Recent evidence suggests that glomeruli are isolated functional units, arranged in a chemotopic manner in the olfactory bulb. Exposure to odorants leads to the activation of specific populations of glomeruli. In rodents, about 25-50 mitral/tufted cells project their primary dendrites to a single glomerulus receiving similar sensory input. Yet, little is known about the properties of neighboring mitral/tufted cells connected to one or a few neighboring glomeruli. We used tetrodes to simultaneously record multiple single-unit activity in the mitral cell layer of anesthetized, freely breathing rats while exposed to mixtures of chemically related compounds. First, we characterized the odorant-induced modifications in firing rate of neighboring mitral/tufted cells and found that they do not share odorant response profiles. Individual units showed a long silent (11.01 ms) period with no oscillatory activity. Cross-correlation analysis between neighboring mitral/tufted cells revealed negligible synchronous activity among them. Finally, we show that respiratory-related temporal patterns are dissimilar among neighboring mitral/tufted cells and also that odorant stimulation results in an individual modification that is not necessarily shared by neighboring mitral/tufted cells. These results show that neighboring mitral/tufted cells frequently exhibit dissimilar response properties, which are not consistent with a precise chemotopic map at the mitral/tufted cell layer in the olfactory bulb.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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