Target specific functions of EPL interneurons in olfactory circuits

Nat Commun. 2019 Jul 29;10(1):3369. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11354-y.


Inhibitory interneurons are integral to sensory processing, yet revealing their cell type-specific roles in sensory circuits remains an ongoing focus. To Investigate the mouse olfactory system, we selectively remove GABAergic transmission from a subset of olfactory bulb interneurons, EPL interneurons (EPL-INs), and assay odor responses from their downstream synaptic partners - tufted cells and mitral cells. Using a combination of in vivo electrophysiological and imaging analyses, we find that inactivating this single node of inhibition leads to differential effects in magnitude, reliability, tuning width, and temporal dynamics between the two principal neurons. Furthermore, tufted and not mitral cell responses to odor mixtures become more linearly predictable without EPL-IN inhibition. Our data suggest that olfactory bulb interneurons, through exerting distinct inhibitory functions onto their different synaptic partners, play a significant role in the processing of odor information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Interneurons / cytology
  • Interneurons / metabolism
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neural Inhibition / genetics
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Odorants
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology
  • Olfactory Bulb / metabolism
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
  • Smell
  • Synaptic Transmission / genetics
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology