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Front Behav Neurosci. 2014 Jun 5;8:193. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00193. eCollection 2014.

Olfactory bulb encoding during learning under anesthesia.

Author information

1
Sub-department of Animal Behaviour, University of Cambridge Cambridge, UK.
2
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.
3
Department of Psychobiology, Universidad Nacional Educación a Distancia (UNED) Madrid, Spain.
4
Bioinformatics Group, The Babraham Institute Cambridge, UK.
5
Key Laboratory for Neuroinformation, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China Chengdu, China.

Abstract

Neural plasticity changes within the olfactory bulb are important for olfactory learning, although how neural encoding changes support new associations with specific odors and whether they can be investigated under anesthesia, remain unclear. Using the social transmission of food preference olfactory learning paradigm in mice in conjunction with in vivo microdialysis sampling we have shown firstly that a learned preference for a scented food odor smelled on the breath of a demonstrator animal occurs under isofluorane anesthesia. Furthermore, subsequent exposure to this cued odor under anesthesia promotes the same pattern of increased release of glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the olfactory bulb as previously found in conscious animals following olfactory learning, and evoked GABA release was positively correlated with the amount of scented food eaten. In a second experiment, multiarray (24 electrodes) electrophysiological recordings were made from olfactory bulb mitral cells under isofluorane anesthesia before, during and after a novel scented food odor was paired with carbon disulfide. Results showed significant increases in overall firing frequency to the cued-odor during and after learning and decreases in response to an uncued odor. Analysis of patterns of changes in individual neurons revealed that a substantial proportion (>50%) of them significantly changed their response profiles during and after learning with most of those previously inhibited becoming excited. A large number of cells exhibiting no response to the odors prior to learning were either excited or inhibited afterwards. With the uncued odor many previously responsive cells became unresponsive or inhibited. Learning associated changes only occurred in the posterior part of the olfactory bulb. Thus olfactory learning under anesthesia promotes extensive, but spatially distinct, changes in mitral cell networks to both cued and uncued odors as well as in evoked glutamate and GABA release.

KEYWORDS:

anesthesia; microdialysis; mitral cells; multiarray electrophysiology; neurotransmitters; olfactory bulb; olfactory learning; social transmission of food preference

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