Reciprocal functional connections of the olfactory bulbs and other olfactory related areas with the prefrontal cortex

Brain Res Bull. 1987 Dec;19(6):651-61. doi: 10.1016/0361-9230(87)90051-7.


Reciprocal putative connections of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) (agranular insular, ventral and lateral orbital region) with the ipsi and contralateral main olfactory bulb (IOB; COB), the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MD), the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus (BLA) and the piriform cortex (PC) were investigated with electrophysiological techniques. Evoked field responses and orthodromic unit driving, generated in PFC following electrical stimulation of the above mentioned structures, were abolished following topical application of KCl, except for COB evoked mass potentials. Thus, locally generated activity was elicited in agranular insular cortex following IOB activation, the same region where recently, the taste cortex in the rat was localized. Since gustatory-visceral afferent information reaches insular cortex via 2-3 synaptic relays, autonomic, olfactory and gustatory inputs may interact at this level, and, as suggested previously for the mouse, play a key integrative role in flavor perception. Antidromically invaded neurons, 47% of which were identified by the collision-extinction technique, were also found in PFC areas which overlapped to a considerable extent with those from which orthodromic unit responses were obtained. In particular, closely spaced neurons in ventrolateral orbital (VLO) and lateral orbital (LO) regions were antidromically invaded following IOB and PC shocks; some neurons antidromically discharged by IOB were also transsynaptically activated following PC stimulation. These findings are in agreement with recent neuroanatomical studies which demonstrate axonal projections from PFC neurons to the IOB and COB in the rat and South American armadillo. In addition, stimulation of PFC regions dorsal to the rhinal fissure mostly inhibited spontaneous unit discharges recorded at the mitral cell layer of the IOB, suggesting that this effect may be partially mediated by excitatory inputs of prefrontal axons onto granule cells. The conduction properties, antidromic thresholds and activity-dependent variations in conduction velocity (CV) of bulbopetal neurons in prefrontal cortex were found to be similar to those exhibited by cells projecting to the IOB from olfactory peduncle regions, but not to those present in bulbopetal neurons of the horizontal limb of diagonal band, indicating that the OB may be subjected to centrifugal control by at least two cell groups differing in both histochemical and electrophysiological properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Efferent Pathways / physiology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Male
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Olfactory Bulb / anatomy & histology
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Olfactory Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Synapses / physiology