Cell type-dependent expression of HCN1 in the main olfactory bulb

Eur J Neurosci. 2003 Jul;18(2):344-54. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9568.2003.02756.x.


In many brain regions, hyperpolarization-activated cationic currents (Ih) are involved in the generation of rhythmic activities, but the role of Ih in olfactory oscillations remains unclear. Knowledge of the cellular and subcellular distributions of hyperpolarization-activated and cyclic nucleotide-gated channel (HCN) subunits is necessary for understanding the role of Ih in olfactory network activities. Using light microscopic immunocytochemistry, we demonstrate strong HCN1 labelling of the glomerular layer and moderate staining of granule cell, internal and external plexiform layers of the rat main olfactory bulb. In the glomerular layer, among many unlabelled neurons, two distinct subpopulations of juxtaglomerular cells are labelled. Approximately 10% of the juxtaglomerular cells strongly express HCN1. These small diameter cells are immunoreactive for GABA and comprise a subpopulation of periglomerular cells. An additional subset of juxtaglomerular cells ( approximately 1%) expresses low levels of HCN1. They are large in diameter, GABA immunonegative but immunopositive for vesicular glutamate transporter 2, characterizing them as external tufted cells. Quantitative immunogold localization revealed that the somatic plasma membranes of periglomerular cells contain approximately four times more HCN1 labelling than those of external tufted cells. Unlike in cortical pyramidal cells, immunogold density for HCN1 does not significantly differ in somatic and dendritic plasma membranes of external tufted cells, indicating that post-synaptic potentials arriving at proximal and distal dendrites are modulated by the same density of Ih. Our results demonstrate a cell type-dependent expression of HCN1 in the olfactory bulb and predict a differential contribution of distinct juxtaglomerular cell types to network oscillations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anaphase-Promoting Complex-Cyclosome
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Repressor Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins*


  • Repressor Proteins
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • hcn1 protein, S pombe
  • Anaphase-Promoting Complex-Cyclosome