Send to

Choose Destination
J Comp Neurol. 1988 Oct 8;276(2):209-18.

Putative glutamatergic and/or aspartatergic cells in the main and accessory olfactory bulbs of the rat.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University, School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


The "transmitter-specific" retrograde axonal tracer 3H-D-aspartate has been used to demonstrate neurons in the olfactory bulb which putatively utilize aspartate and/or glutamate as their neurotransmitter and which send an axon either to the piriform cortex or within the bulb itself. Injections of 3H-D-aspartate into layer I of the anterior piriform cortex, in the zone of termination of axons from the olfactory bulb, labeled only a few cells in the main olfactory bulb, located in the mitral and external plexiform layers. Although these cells resembled mitral and tufted cells, they tended to have smaller somata than other mitral or tufted cells and apparently form a distinct subpopulation of relay cells. In contrast, many of the mitral cells of the accessory olfactory bulb were labeled by the same injections of 3H-D-aspartate, probably as a result of involvement of the accessory olfactory tract or its bed nucleus in the injection site. Similar injections of the "nonspecific" tracer HRP into the anterior piriform cortex labeled most of the cells in the mitral cell layer of both the main and accessory olfactory bulbs, and some tufted cells in the external plexiform layer. It is concluded that only a small, distinct subpopulation of the mitral or tufted cells of the main olfactory bulb are aspartatergic and/or glutamatergic, while many (at least) of the mitral cells of the accessory olfactory bulb use the excitatory amino acids as transmitters. Injections of 3H-D-aspartate directly into the main olfactory bulb also failed to label the mitral and deeply situated tufted cells. However, a few cells were labeled in the periglomerular region, the superficial external plexiform layer, and the granule cell layer near the injection site. These labeled cells were smaller than mitral and tufted cells but generally larger than periglomerular or granule cells. They may represent a population of glutamatergic or aspartatergic short axon cells. In addition, small cells of an unknown type were labeled in the olfactory nerve layer following injections in the deepest part of the bulb. These cells do not correspond to any of the well characterized cell types of the olfactory bulb.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center