Chemically defined neuron groups and their subpopulations in the glomerular layer of the rat main olfactory bulb--IV. Intraglomerular synapses of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive neurons

Neuroscience. 2000;101(1):11-7. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4522(00)00356-0.


Synapses of intraglomerular processes of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive neurons in the rat main olfactory bulb were examined by electron microscopic immunocytochemistry. Prominent characteristics of intraglomerular synapses of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive elements were that the vast majority (about 80%) of their synaptic inputs were asymmetrical synapses from olfactory nerve terminals and, though far smaller in proportion, one half of the remaining were asymmetrical synapses from mitral/tufted cell dendrites and the other half were symmetrical synapses from gamma-aminobutyric acid-like immunoreactive elements. So far, we have observed no typical reciprocal synapses between tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive processes and mitral/tufted dendrites; however, we have often identified serial synapses; that is, asymmetrical synapses from olfactory nerve terminals or mitral/tufted cell dendrites to tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive processes, and then symmetrical synapses from the latter to different mitral/tufted cell dendrites. These synaptic connections of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive neurons were very different from those of Calbindin-D(28k)-immunoreactive neurons, which received no synaptic contact directly from olfactory nerve terminals but formed reciprocal synapses with mitral/tufted cells as we analysed previously.Thus, our present and previous electron microscopic studies combined with confocal laser scanning light microscopy clearly indicated for the first time the heterogeneity of periglomerular neurons, not only in their chemical and morphological features, but also in their synaptic organization in the olfactory glomerulus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Size / physiology
  • Dendrites / metabolism
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / metabolism*
  • Neural Pathways / ultrastructure
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Olfactory Bulb / metabolism*
  • Olfactory Bulb / ultrastructure
  • Olfactory Nerve / metabolism
  • Olfactory Nerve / ultrastructure
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Smell / physiology
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism*


  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase