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Neuroscience. 2018 May 1;377:77-86. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2018.02.042. Epub 2018 Mar 6.

Somatotopic Organization and Temporal Characteristics of Cerebrocortical Excitation in Response to Nasal Mucosa Stimulation With and Without an Odor in the Rat: An Optical Imaging Study.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, Nihon University School of Dentistry, 1-8-13 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8310, Japan; Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Nihon University School of Dentistry, 1-8-13 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8310, Japan.
2
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Nihon University School of Dentistry, 1-8-13 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8310, Japan.
3
Department of Pharmacology, Nihon University School of Dentistry, 1-8-13 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8310, Japan; Division of Oral and Craniomaxillofacial Research, Dental Research Center, Nihon University School of Dentistry, 1-8-13 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8310, Japan.
4
Department of Pharmacology, Nihon University School of Dentistry, 1-8-13 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8310, Japan; Division of Oral and Craniomaxillofacial Research, Dental Research Center, Nihon University School of Dentistry, 1-8-13 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8310, Japan; Molecular Dynamics Imaging Unit, RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, 6-7-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0047, Japan. Electronic address: kobayashi.masayuki@nihon-u.ac.jp.

Abstract

Nasal mucosa has roles in warming and humidifying inspired air and is highly sensitive to mechanical stimuli. Moreover, the upper part of the nasal mucosa expresses olfactory receptors processing olfactory information. Although the somatosensory map of the face in the primary (S1) and secondary (S2) somatosensory cortices is clearly documented, the map of the nasal mucosa and the effect of odors on their activities are largely unknown. This study aimed to identify the cortical regions in S1 and their temporal features in response to somatosensory stimulation of the nasal mucosa using an optical imaging technique in urethane-anesthetized rats. An air puff application response to nasal mucosa first occurred in a part of contralateral S1 and subsequently, spread toward the rostrally and ventrally adjacent sites. Upper pharynx stimulation initially activated this rostrally expanded site and the excitatory propagation from the initially activated region toward ventral region likely represented S2. Signal intensity and activated area increased dependent on air pressure. Nasal tip stimulation initially excited S1 region caudally adjacent to that of nasal mucosa. Moreover, the amplitude of S1 excitation was similar between air puff stimulation with and without an odor, amyl acetate. In contrast to contralateral S1, air puff stimulation with the odor showed a faint optical signal increase in the ipsilateral piriform cortex. These results suggest that somatosensory information from the nasal mucosa and skin, and upper pharynx are processed in spatially continuous regions of S1, and interaction between somatosensory and olfactory systems is relatively small in contralateral S1.

KEYWORDS:

nasal mucosa; olfaction; piriform cortex; somatosensation; somatosensory cortex

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