Voltage-dependent intrinsic bursting in olfactory bulb Golgi cells

Learn Mem. 2013 Aug 15;20(9):459-66. doi: 10.1101/lm.031856.113.


In the mammalian olfactory bulb (OB), local synaptic circuits modulate the evolving pattern of activity in mitral and tufted cells following olfactory sensory stimulation. GABAergic granule cells, the most numerous interneuron subtype in this brain region, have been extensively studied. However, classic studies using Golgi staining methods identified many other, nongranule cell types in the OB whose function remains mysterious. Within just the granule cell layer (GCL), Ramón y Cajal described multiple morphologically distinct subtypes of nongranule interneurons including large spiny Blanes cells which exhibit intrinsic persistent activity. Here, we define the intrinsic electrophysiology of a different nongranule interneuronal cell type in the GCL described by Ramón y Cajal, sparsely spiny Golgi cells in the rat OB. Golgi cells exhibit two distinct firing modes depending on the membrane potential: tonic firing and bursting. Golgi cells also generate rebound bursts following the offset of hyperpolarizing steps. We find that both low-threshold burst responses to depolarizing inputs and rebound bursts are blocked by nickel, an antagonist of T-type voltage-gated Ca2+ current. The state-dependent firing behavior we report in OB Golgi cells suggests that the function of these interneurons may dynamically shift from providing rhythmic potent inhibition of postsynaptic target neurons at sniffing frequencies to tonic, subtractive inhibition based on centrifugal modulatory input.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Interneurons / cytology
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Male
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley