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Eur J Neurosci. 2007 Mar;25(5):1373-83.

Synapse-specific localization of vesicular glutamate transporters in the rat olfactory bulb.

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Laboratory of Perception and Memory, CNRS URA 2182, Pasteur Institute, 25 rue du Dr Roux, 75015 Paris Cedex, France.


Vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs) mediate the packaging of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate into synaptic vesicles. Three VGLUT subtypes have so far been identified, with distinct expression patterns in the adult brain. Here, we investigated the spatial distribution of the three VGLUTs in the rat olfactory bulb, a brain region containing a variety of glutamate synapses, both axodendritic and dendrodendritic. Using multilabelling confocal microscopy and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry, we showed that each VGLUT isoform has a highly selective localization in olfactory bulb synapses. VGLUT1 is present at dendrodendritic synapses established by the output neurones (mitral and tufted cells) with bulbar interneurones in the glomerular layer and external plexiform layer, as well as in axonal synapses of the granule cell layer. By contrast, VGLUT2 is strongly expressed in axon terminals of olfactory sensory neurones, which establish synapses with second-order neurones in the glomerular neuropil. VGLUT2 is also found in the outer part of the external plexiform layer and in the granule cell layer but colocalizes only partially with VGLUT1. Finally, we showed that VGLUT3 is exclusively located in the glomerular neuropil, where it colocalizes extensively with the vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter vesicular GABA transporter, suggesting that it is associated with a subset of inhibitory synapses. Together, these observations extend previous findings on VGLUT distribution in the forebrain, and suggest that each VGLUT subtype has a specific function in the distinct features of axodendritic and dendrodendritic synapses that characterize the olfactory bulb circuit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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