Topographic organization of sensory projections to the olfactory bulb

Cell. 1994 Dec 16;79(6):981-91. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(94)90029-9.


The detection of odorant receptor mRNAs within the axon terminals of sensory neurons has permitted us to ask whether neurons expressing a given receptor project their axons to common glomeruli within the olfactory bulb. In situ hybridization with five different receptor probes demonstrates that axons from neurons expressing a given receptor converge on one, or at most, a few glomeruli within the olfactory bulb. Moreover, the position of specific glomeruli is bilaterally symmetric and is constant in different individuals within a species. These data support a model in which exposure to a given odorant may result in the stimulation of a spatially restricted set of glomeruli, such that the individual odorants would be associated with specific topographic patterns of activity within the olfactory bulb.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / pathology
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Female
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Neurons, Afferent / cytology*
  • Odorants
  • Olfactory Bulb / anatomy & histology*
  • Olfactory Marker Protein
  • Perception / physiology
  • RNA, Messenger / isolation & purification*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics*
  • Synapses


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Olfactory Marker Protein
  • Omp protein, rat
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Odorant