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Neuron. 2013 Mar 20;77(6):1122-35. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.01.022.

Odorant response properties of individual neurons in an olfactory glomerular module.

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Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Neuronal networks that are directly associated with glomeruli in the olfactory bulb are thought to comprise functional modules. However, this has not yet been experimentally proven. In this study, we explored the anatomical and functional architecture of glomerular modules using in vivo two-photon calcium imaging. Surprisingly, the deep portions of the glomerular modules showed considerable spatial overlap with other modules. Juxtaglomerular cells showed similar excitatory odorant response profiles to presynaptic olfactory sensory neuron inputs. Mitral cells exhibited a more sharply tuned molecular receptive range compared to juxtaglomerular cells, and their odorant response profiles varied depending on their interneuronal horizontal distances. These data suggest that glomerular modules are composed of functionally distinct neurons, and that homogenous odor inputs to each glomerulus may be parsed and processed in different fashions within the modules before being sent to higher olfactory centers.

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