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Neuroscience. 1997 Aug;79(3):871-85.

Subdivisions of the guinea-pig accessory olfactory bulb revealed by the combined method with immunohistochemistry, electrophysiological, and optical recordings.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Kanazawa Medical University, Uchinada, Ishikawa, Japan.

Abstract

The presence of subgroups in vomeronasal sensory neurons has been known in various animals. To elucidate possible functional subdivisions in the guinea-pig accessory olfactory bulb, the combined studies with GTP-binding protein immunohistochemistry, electrophysiological and optical recordings were carried out. Gi2 alpha and Go alpha proteins were immunohistochemically localized, respectively, in the anterior and posterior regions of the vomeronasal nerve and glomerular layers, indicating that the guinea-pig accessory olfactory bulb receives at least two different inputs. This suggests that an anatomical boundary exists in these two layers. A mapping study of field potentials in sagittal slice preparations demonstrated that stimulation of the anterior vomeronasal nerve layer elicited field potentials with weak oscillatory responses exclusively in the anterior region of the external plexiform layer, whereas shocks to the posterior vomeronasal nerve layer provoked distinct oscillatory responses within the posterior one. The damping factors of oscillations in the anterior and posterior regions were 0.064+/-0.028 and 0.025+/-0.014, respectively. These electrophysiological results suggest that the accessory olfactory bulb consists of two functionally different subdivisions. Real-time optical imaging showed that anterior vomeronasal nerve layer shocks produced neural activity which spread horizontally from anterior to posterior only within the anterior region of the external plexiform and mitral cell layers, whereas shocks to the posterior vomeronasal nerve layer evoked periodic neural activity which spread horizontally from posterior to anterior only within the posterior region. Furthermore, the most posterior extent of the optical response evoked in the anterior region immediately adjoined the most anterior extent of that evoked in the posterior region. The maximal distance of signal propagation in the granule cell layer corresponded to that in the overlying external plexiform and mitral cell layers, indicating that the granule cell layer also has a similar boundary. Thus, these optical imaging studies not only demonstrated a precise boundary in each layer of the accessory olfactory bulb, which was positioned right beneath the boundary defined by GTP-binding protein immunohistochemistry, but also confirmed the observations from electrophysiological mapping that evoked field potentials are independently distributed in each of two subdivisions. The presence of the functional subdivision in each layer leads us to conclude that the accessory olfactory bulb in the guinea-pig is distinctly segregated into the anterior and posterior subdivisions, and to suggest that there are at least two different input output pathways in the vomeronasal system.

PMID:
9219950
DOI:
10.1016/s0306-4522(96)00690-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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