During adult rodent life, newborn neurons are added to the olfactory bulb (OB) in a tightly controlled manner. Upon arrival in the OB, input synapses from the local bulbar network and the higher olfactory cortex precede the formation of functional output synapses, indicating a possible role for these regions in newborn neuron survival. An interplay between the environment and the piriform cortex in the regulation of newborn neuron survival has been suggested. However, the specific network and the neuronal cell types responsible for this effect have not been elucidated. Furthermore, the role of the other olfactory cortical areas in this process is not known. Here we demonstrate that pyramidal neurons in the mouse anterior olfactory nucleus, the first cortical area for odor processing, have a key role in the survival of newborn neurons. Using DREADD (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) technology, we applied chronic stimulation to the anterior olfactory nucleus and observed a decrease in newborn neurons in the OB through induction of apoptosis. These findings provide further insight into the network regulating neuronal survival in adult neurogenesis and strengthen the importance of the surrounding network for sustained integration of new neurons.
Keywords: adult neurogenesis; anterior olfactory cortex; chemogenetics; plasticity.
© 2021 International Society for Neurochemistry.