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Neuron. 2006 Mar 16;49(6):889-904.

Blanes cells mediate persistent feedforward inhibition onto granule cells in the olfactory bulb.

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Department of Neurosciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


Inhibitory local circuits in the olfactory bulb play a critical role in determining the firing patterns of output neurons. However, little is known about the circuitry in the major plexiform layers of the olfactory bulb that regulate this output. Here we report the first electrophysiological recordings from Blanes cells, large stellate-shaped interneurons located in the granule cell layer. We find that Blanes cells are GABAergic and generate large I(CAN)-mediated afterdepolarizations following bursts of action potentials. Using paired two-photon guided intracellular recordings, we show that Blanes cells have a presumptive axon and monosynaptically inhibit granule cells. Sensory axon stimulation evokes barrages of EPSPs in Blanes cells that trigger long epochs of persistent spiking; this firing mode was reset by hyperpolarizing membrane potential steps. Persistent firing in Blanes cells may represent a novel mechanism for encoding short-term olfactory information through modulation of tonic inhibitory synaptic input onto bulbar neurons.

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