Potentiation of late components in olfactory bulb and piriform cortex requires activation of cortical association fibers

Brain Res. 1999 Sep 11;841(1-2):27-42. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(99)01765-5.


Previous research has demonstrated that repeated high-frequency stimulation of the granule cell layer of the olfactory bulb (OB) produces an enduring potentiation of late components (PLC) in potentials evoked in the OB and piriform cortex (PC), while leaving the monosynaptic EPSP produced by OB mitral cells in PC pyramidal cells unaltered. Two experiments were conducted using male Long-Evans rats with chronically implanted electrodes to assess the relative contribution to this potentiation of the two main fiber systems that interconnect the OB and PC: the lateral olfactory tract (LOT), which contains mitral cell axons that synapse on PC pyramidal cells, and the PC association fiber system, which consists of the axons of PC pyramidal cells that synapse on several cell populations within the PC and on granule cells in the OB. The results indicate that stimulation of PC association fibers is both necessary and sufficient to duplicate the pattern of potentiation seen following OB stimulation in previous experiments. LOT stimulation had no consistent effect, and coactivation of the LOT and PC association fibers was no more effective than activation of PC association fibers alone. Possible mechanisms underlying this effect are discussed, including (1) long-term potentiation (LTP) at synapses made by the axons of PC pyramidal cells on neurons in the OB and PC; and (2) repetitive firing in PC pyramidal cells due to regenerative excitation in a population of deep cells in the PC and endopiriform nucleus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Synapses / physiology