Dynamic inhibition of sensory responses mediated by an olfactory corticofugal system

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
R. Medinaceli QuintelaMarkus Rothermel


Processing of sensory information is substantially modulated by centrifugal projections from higher cortical areas, yet their behavioral relevance and underlying neural mechanisms remain unclear in most cases. The anterior olfactory nucleus (AON) is part of the olfactory cortex and its extensive connections to lower and higher brain centers put it in a prime position to modulate early sensory information in the olfactory system. Here, we show that optogenetic activation of AON neurons in awake animals was not perceived as an odorant equivalent cue. However, AON activation during odorant presentation reliably suppressed odor responses. This AON mediated effect was fast and constant across odors and concentrations. Likewise, activation of glutamatergic AON projections to the olfactory bulb (OB) transiently inhibited the excitability of mitral/tufted cells (MTCs) that relay olfactory input to cortex. Single-unit MTC recordings revealed that optogenetic activation of glutamatergic AON terminals in the OB transiently decreased sensory-evoked MTC spiking, regardless of the strength or polarity of the sensory response. These findings suggest that glutamatergic AON projections to the OB suppress early olfactory processing by inhibiting...Continue Reading

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