5-Hydroxytryptamine action in the rat olfactory bulb: in vitro electrophysiological patch-clamp recordings of juxtaglomerular and mitral cells

Neuroscience. 2005;131(3):717-31. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2004.10.034.


The olfactory bulb, first relay of olfactory pathways, is densely innervated by serotoninergic centrifugal fibers originating from the raphe nuclei. Although serotonin innervation was reported to be involved in olfactory learning in mammals, the action of this neurotransmitter on its putative cellular targets has been never described through unitary recordings. This lack of data initiated the present study where the effects of 5HT on juxtaglomerular and mitral cells are analyzed using whole-cell recordings on olfactory bulb slices. Serotonin depolarizes 34% of 525 JG cells. A multivariate statistical analysis of juxtaglomerular cells characteristics shows that the serotonin responsive cell group can be individualized regarding their tonic discharge-mode in response to a direct current injection, their lower expression of hyperpolarization-activated cation current and their low membrane capacities. The use of ion channel blockers and ramp voltage protocol indicate that serotoninergic depolarization of juxtaglomerular cells may be due to a nonselective cation current with a reversal potential of -44 mV. Pharmacological tests with serotonin receptor antagonists and agonists reveal that 5HT action on juxtaglomerular cells would be mainly mediated by 5HT2C receptors. In mitral cells, serotonin acts on 49.1% of the 242 tested cells, inducing two types of responses. A first subset of mitral cells (26.8%, n=65) were hyperpolarized by serotonin. This response would be indirect and mediated by action of GABA on GABAA receptors since it was antagonized by bicuculline. The involved GABAergic neurons are hypothesized to be juxtaglomerular and granular cells, on which serotonin would act mainly via 5HT2C and via 5HT2A receptors respectively. The second subset of mitral cells (22.3%, n=54) were directly depolarized by serotonin acting through 5HT2A receptors. Our data on serotonin action on juxtaglomerular cells and mitral cells reveal a part of functional mechanisms whereby serotonin can act on olfactory bulb network. This is expected to enrich the understanding of its determining role in olfactory learning.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 4-Aminopyridine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Apamin / pharmacology
  • Benzodiazepines / pharmacology
  • Bicuculline / pharmacology
  • Cesium / pharmacology
  • Chlorides / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Drug Interactions
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Electrophysiology
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology*
  • GABA Antagonists / pharmacology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Kynurenic Acid / pharmacology
  • Logistic Models
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Membrane Potentials / radiation effects
  • Methysergide / pharmacology
  • Mianserin / pharmacology
  • Neurons / classification
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Nickel / pharmacology
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / drug effects
  • Olfactory Pathways / drug effects
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology
  • Olfactory Pathways / radiation effects
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / methods
  • Potassium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Serotonin / pharmacology*
  • Serotonin Antagonists / pharmacology


  • Chlorides
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • GABA Antagonists
  • Potassium Channel Blockers
  • Serotonin Antagonists
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cesium
  • Apamin
  • Mianserin
  • Serotonin
  • nickel chloride
  • Nickel
  • 4-Aminopyridine
  • cesium chloride
  • Kynurenic Acid
  • N-desmethylclobazam
  • Methysergide
  • Bicuculline