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Neurosci Lett. 2006 Jul 10;402(1-2):121-5. Epub 2006 May 22.

Immunocytochemical localization of the GABAB2 receptor subunit in the glomeruli of the mouse main olfactory bulb.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283, USA, and Institut National de la Santé, U-616, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, Paris, France.


The olfactory input to the brain is carried out by olfactory nerve axons that terminate in the olfactory bulb glomeruli and make synapses onto dendrites of glutamatergic projection neurons, mitral and tufted cells, and GABAergic interneurons, periglomerular cells. The dendrites are reciprocally connected through asymmetric synapses of mitral/tufted cells with periglomerular cells and symmetric synapses of the opposite direction. Transmission at the first synapse in the olfactory pathway is regulated presynaptically, and this regulation is mediated, in part, by metabotropic GABAB receptors that, when activated, inhibit transmitter release from the olfactory nerve. Functional GABAB receptors are heterodimers composed of the GABAB1 and GABAB2 subunits. Studies using double immunofluorescence have shown colocalization of both subunits in the glomerular neuropil, and ultrastructural studies have localized GABAB1 to extrasynaptic, synaptic, and perisynaptic sites on the plasma membrane of olfactory nerve terminals. We studied the subcellular localization of GABAB2 in the mouse olfactory glomeruli using a subunit-specific antibody and preembedding immunogold labeling. Immunoreactivity for GABAB2 was associated with symmetric dendrodendritic synapses of periglomerular cells with mitral/tufted cells and was localized to the extrasynaptic plasma membrane of presynaptic dendrites, and extrasynaptic, synaptic, and perisynaptic sites on the plasma membrane of postsynaptic dendrites. The results suggest that postsynaptic, and perhaps presynaptic, GABAB receptors may be expressed at GABAergic synapses between dendrites of periglomerular interneurons and projection neurons. Immunolabeling was observed at junctions of the olfactory nerve with mitral/tufted cell dendrites, providing ultrastructural evidence for the expression of the GABAB2 subunit at the primary olfactory synapse.

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