Intracellular responses of identified rat olfactory bulb interneurons to electrical and odor stimulation

J Neurophysiol. 1990 Sep;64(3):932-47. doi: 10.1152/jn.1990.64.3.932.


1. Intracellular recordings were made from 28 granule cells and 6 periglomerular cells of the rat olfactory bulb during odor stimulation and electrical stimulation of the olfactory nerve layer (ONL) and lateral olfactory tract (LOT). Neurons were identified by injection of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) or biocytin and/or intracellular response characteristics. Odorants were presented in a cyclic sniff paradigm, as reported previously. 2. All interneurons could be activated from a wide number of stimulation sites on the ONL, with distances exceeding their known dendritic spreads and the dispersion of nerve fibers within the ONL, indicating that multisynaptic pathways must also exist at the glomerular region. All types of interneurons also responded to odorant stimulation, showing a variety of responses. 3. Granule cells responded to electrical stimulation of the LOT and ONL as reported previously. However, intracellular potential, excitability, and conductance analysis suggested that the mitral cell-mediated excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) is followed by a long inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP). An early negative potential, before the EPSP, was also observed in every granule cell and correlated with component I of the extracellular LOT-induced field potential. We have interpreted this negativity as a "field effect," that may be diagnostic of granule cells. 4. Most granule cells exhibited excitatory responses to odorant stimulation. Odors could produce spiking responses that were either nonhabituating (response to every sniff) or rapidly habituating (response to first sniff only). Other granule cells, while spiking to electrical stimulation, showed depolarizations that did not evoke spikes to odor stimulation. These depolarizations were transient with each sniff or sustained across a series of sniffs. These physiological differences to odor stimulation correlated with granule cell position beneath the mitral cell layer for 12 cells, suggesting that morphological subtypes of granule cells may show physiological differences. Some features of the granule cell odor responses seem to correlate with some of the features we have observed in mitral/tufted cell intracellular recordings. Only one cell showed inhibition to odors. 5. Periglomerular (PG) cells showed a response to ONL stimulation that was unlike that found in other olfactory bulb neurons. There was a long-duration hyperpolarization after a spike and large depolarization or burst of spikes (20-30 ms in duration). Odor stimulation produced simple bursts of action potentials, Odor stimulation produced simple bursts of action potentials, suggesting that PG cells may simply follow input from the olfactory nerve.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Granulocytes / physiology
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Intracellular Membranes / physiology*
  • Male
  • Odorants*
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains