The olfactory cortex is functionally isolated from the external odor world during slow-wave sleep. However, the neuronal activity pattern in the olfactory cortex and its functional roles during slow-wave sleep are not well understood. Here, we demonstrate in freely behaving rats that the anterior piriform cortex, a major area of the olfactory cortex, repeatedly generates sharp waves that are accompanied by synchronized discharges of numerous cortical neurons. Olfactory cortex sharp waves occurred relatively independently of hippocampal sharp waves. Current source density analysis showed that sharp wave generation involved the participation of recurrent association fiber synapses to pyramidal cells in the olfactory cortex. During slow-wave sleep, the olfactory bulb showed sharp waves that were in synchrony with olfactory cortex sharp waves, indicating that olfactory cortex sharp waves drove synchronized top-down inputs to the olfactory bulb. Based on these results, we speculate that the olfactory cortex sharp waves may play a role in the reorganization of bulbar neuronal circuits during slow-wave sleep.
Coding odorant concentration through activation timing between the medial and lateral olfactory bulb
Sharp wave-associated synchronized inputs from the piriform cortex activate olfactory tubercle neurons during slow-wave sleep
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