Quantitative analysis of neuronal diversity in the mouse olfactory bulb

J Comp Neurol. 2007 Apr 20;501(6):825-36. doi: 10.1002/cne.21205.


Olfactory sensory information is processed and integrated by circuits within the olfactory bulb. Golgi morphology suggests the olfactory bulb contains several major neuronal classes. However, an increasingly diverse collection of neurochemical markers have been localized in subpopulations of olfactory bulb neurons. While the mouse is becoming the animal model of choice for olfactory research, little is known about the proportions of neurons expressing and coexpressing different neurochemical markers in this species. Here we characterize neuronal populations in the mouse main olfactory bulb, focusing on glomerular populations. Immunofluorescent labeling for: 1) calretinin, 2) calbindin D-28K (CB), 3) parvalbumin, 4) neurocalcin, 5) tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), 6) the 67-kDa isoform of GAD (GAD67), and 7) the neuronal marker NeuN was performed in mice expressing green fluorescent protein under the control of the glutamic acid decarboxylase 65kDa (GAD65) promoter. Using unbiased stereological cell counts we estimated the total numbers of cells and neurons in the bulb and the number and percentage of neurons expressing and coexpressing different neurochemical populations in each layer of the olfactory bulb. Use of a genetic label for GAD65 and immunohistochemistry for GAD67 identified a much larger percentage of GABAergic neurons in the glomerular layer (55% of all neurons) than previously recognized. Additionally, while many glomerular neurons expressing TH or CB coexpress GAD, the majority of these neurons preferentially express the GAD67 isoform. These data suggest that the chemospecific populations of neurons in glomeruli form distinct subpopulations and that GAD isoforms are preferentially regulated in different neurochemical cell types.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Calbindin 2
  • Calbindins
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Size
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Neurocalcin / metabolism
  • Neurons / classification
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / metabolism
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / metabolism
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Calb2 protein, mouse
  • Calbindin 2
  • Calbindins
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Isoenzymes
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • NeuN protein, mouse
  • Neurocalcin
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Parvalbumins
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase
  • glutamate decarboxylase 1