Rhythm sequence through the olfactory bulb layers during the time window of a respiratory cycle

Eur J Neurosci. 2003 May;17(9):1811-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9568.2003.02619.x.


The mammalian olfactory bulb is characterized by prominent oscillatory activity of its local field potentials. Breathing imposes the most important rhythm. Other rhythms have been described in the beta- and gamma-frequency ranges. We recorded unitary activities in different bulbar layers simultaneously with local field potentials in order to examine the different relationships existing between (i) breathing and field potential oscillations, and (ii) breathing and spiking activity of different cell types. We show that, whatever the layer, odour-induced gamma oscillations always occur around the transition point between inhalation and exhalation while beta oscillations appear during early exhalation and may extend up to the end of inhalation. By contrast, unitary activities exhibit different characteristics according to the layer. They vary in (i) their temporal relationship with respect to the respiratory cycle; (ii) their spike rates; (iii) their temporal patterns defined according to the respiratory cycle. The time window of a respiratory cycle might thus be split into three main epochs based on the deceleration of field potential rhythms (from gamma to beta oscillations) and a simultaneous gradient of spike discharge frequencies ranging from 180 to 30 Hz. We discuss the possibility that each rhythm could serve different functions as priming, gating or tuning for the bulbar network.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biological Clocks / physiology
  • Male
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Periodicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Respiration*