Neural synchrony generates fast network oscillations throughout the brain, including the main olfactory bulb (MOB), the first processing station of the olfactory system. Identifying the mechanisms synchronizing neurons in the MOB will be key to understanding how network oscillations support the coding of a high-dimensional sensory space. Here, using paired recordings and optogenetic activation of glomerular sensory inputs in MOB slices, we uncovered profound differences in principal mitral cell (MC) vs. tufted cell (TC) spike-time synchrony: TCs robustly synchronized across fast- and slow-gamma frequencies, while MC synchrony was weaker and concentrated in slow-gamma frequencies. Synchrony among both cell types was enhanced by shared glomerular input but was independent of intraglomerular lateral excitation. Cell-type differences in synchrony could also not be traced to any difference in the synchronization of synaptic inhibition. Instead, greater TC than MC synchrony paralleled the more periodic firing among resonant TCs than MCs and emerged in patterns consistent with densely synchronous network oscillations. Collectively, our results thus reveal a mechanism for parallel processing of sensory information in the MOB via differential TC vs. MC synchrony, and further contrast mechanisms driving fast network oscillations in the MOB from those driving the sparse synchronization of irregularly firing principal cells throughout cortex.
Keywords: gamma frequency; mouse; neuroscience; olfaction; olfactory bulb; oscillation; synchrony.
© 2021, Burton and Urban.