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Electrical Coupling between Olfactory Glomeruli



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Neuron Article Electrical Coupling between Olfactory Glomeruli Emre Yaksi1 and Rachel I Wilson1 1Department of Neurobiology Harvard Medical School 220 Longwood Avenue Boston MA 02115 USA Correspondence rachel wilson hms harvard edu DOI 10 1016 j neuron 2010 08 041 SUMMARY In the Drosophila antennal lobe excitation can spread between glomerular processing channels In this study we investigated the mechanism of lateral excitation Dual recordings from excitatory local neurons eLNs and projection neurons PNs showed that eLN to PN synapses transmit both hyperpolarization and depolarization are not diminished by blocking chemical neurotransmission and are abolished by a gap junction mutation This mutation eliminates odor evoked lateral excitation in PNs and diminishes some PN odor responses This implies that lateral excitation is mediated by electrical synapses from eLNs onto PNs In addition eLNs form synapses onto inhibitory LNs Eliminating these synapses boosts some PN odor responses and reduces the disinhibitory effect of GABA receptor antagonists on PNs Thus eLNs have two opposing effects on PNs driving both direct excitation and indirect inhibition We propose that when stimuli are weak lateral excitation promotes sensitivity whereas when stimuli are strong lateral excitation helps recruit inhibitory gain control INTRODUCTION Sensory neurons are generally selective for particular stimulus features Neurons at the same level of sensory processing that are tuned to different features can be thought of as representing different processing channels One of the aims of sensory neuroscience is to understand the mechanisms and functions of crosstalk between such channels The notion of a sensory channel is particularly well defined in early olfactory processing This is because each glomerulus in the olfactory bulb or antennal lobe defines both an anatomical module and a discrete feedforward circuit Each olfactory receptor neuron ORN is presynaptic to a single glomerulus and



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