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Neuroscience. 1991;40(1):21-7.

Effect of stimulating the nucleus of the horizontal limb of the diagonal band on single unit activity in the olfactory bulb.

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Physiology Department, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.


The effects of centrifugal afferents on single unit discharge in the main olfactory bulb were studied in anaesthetized rats. Recording with extracellular micropipettes revealed spontaneous firing in all bulb layers. Units were located to different laminae using evoked field-potential profiles and histological verification. Output neurons were identified by antidromic response to stimulation of the lateral olfactory tract. Single- or brief multiple-pulse stimulation in the nucleus of the horizontal limb of the diagonal band, but not in adjacent regions, facilitated 17 out of 27 mitral cells with no effect on 10, but inhibited 21 out of 33 granule cell layer units with no effect on 12. Of 13 presumed tufted cells, six were facilitated and the rest unaffected. In contrast, stimulation of olfactory cortex inhibited mitral cells and facilitated most granule layer cells. The results are consistent with an inhibition of tonic granule cell discharge by the horizontal diagonal band nucleus, with resultant disinhibition of mitral cells via the dendrodendritic synapses of granule cells on mitral cell secondary dendrites.

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