Changes in the connections of the main olfactory bulb after mitral cell selective neurodegeneration

Authors

  • Javier S. Recio,

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Pathology, Institute for Neuroscience of Castilla y León, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
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  • Eduardo Weruaga,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cell Biology and Pathology, Institute for Neuroscience of Castilla y León, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
    • Departamento de Biología Celular y Patología, Instituto de Neurociencias de Castilla y León, Universidad de Salamanca, Avenida Alfonso X el Sabio 1, E-37007, Salamanca, Spain
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  • Carmela Gómez,

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Pathology, Institute for Neuroscience of Castilla y León, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
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  • Jorge Valero,

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Pathology, Institute for Neuroscience of Castilla y León, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
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  • Jesús G. Briñón,

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Pathology, Institute for Neuroscience of Castilla y León, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
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  • José R. Alonso

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Pathology, Institute for Neuroscience of Castilla y León, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
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Abstract

The connections of the main olfactory bulb (OB) of the mouse were studied with iontophoretic injections of biotinylated dextran amine. To sort efferences from mitral cells and tufted cells, the Purkinje cell degeneration (PCD) mouse was used. This mutant animal undergoes a specific neurodegeneration of mitral cells, whereas tufted cells do not degenerate. The unilateral tracer injections used were small and confined largely to the OB of both PCD and control mice at P120. Seven days after tracer injection, the efferences from the OB and the centrifugal afferences from secondary olfactory structures to it were studied. Although there is a large overlap of their target fields, mitral cell axons innervated more caudal regions of the olfactory cortex than tufted cell axons, thus providing definitive evidence of the differential projections of olfactory output neurons. Additionally, an important increase in retrogradely-labeled neurons was detected in the ipsilateral anterior olfactory nucleus of the mutant animals. This was not observed in any other secondary olfactory structure, suggesting a strengthening of the centrifugal input to the OB from that central area after mitral cell loss. Moreover, we recorded a complete loss of bilaterality in the olfactory connections of the PCD mice due to degeneration of the anterior commissure. These results point to an important reorganization of this essential olfactory circuit between the anterior olfactory nucleus and the OB, and hint at a transsynaptic level of plasticity not considered previously in literature. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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