Respiration-gated formation of gamma and beta neural assemblies in the mammalian olfactory bulb

Eur J Neurosci. 2009 Mar;29(5):921-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2009.06651.x.


A growing body of data suggests that information coding can be achieved not only by varying neuronal firing rate, but also by varying spike timing relative to network oscillations. In the olfactory bulb (OB) of a freely breathing anaesthetized mammal, odorant stimulation induces prominent oscillatory local field potential (LFP) activity in the beta (10-35 Hz) and gamma (40-80 Hz) ranges, which alternate during a respiratory cycle. At the same time, mitral/tufted (M/T) cells display respiration-modulated spiking patterns. Using simultaneous recordings of M/T unitary activities and LFP activity, we conducted an analysis of the temporal relationships between M/T cell spiking activity and both OB beta and gamma oscillations. We observed that M/T cells display a respiratory pattern that pre-tunes instantaneous frequencies to a gamma or beta regime. Consequently, M/T cell spikes become phase-locked to either gamma or beta LFP oscillations according to their frequency range and respiratory pattern. Our results suggest that slow respiratory dynamics pre-tune M/T cells to a preferential fast rhythm (beta or gamma) such that a spike-LFP coupling might occur when units and oscillation frequencies are in a compatible range. This double-coupling process might define two complementary beta- and gamma-neuronal assemblies along the course of a respiratory cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biological Clocks*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Odorants
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Respiration*
  • Time Factors