In vivo whole-cell recording of odor-evoked synaptic transmission in the rat olfactory bulb

Jianhua Cang, Jeffry S. Isaacson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

234 Scopus citations


One of the first steps in the coding of olfactory information is the transformation of synaptic input to action potential firing in mitral and tufted (M/T) cells of the mammalian olfactory bulb. However, little is known regarding the synaptic mechanisms underlying this process in vivo. In this study, we examined odor-evoked response patterns of M/T and granule cells using whole-cell recording in anesthetized, freely breathing rats. We find that odor-evoked excitatory responses in M/T cells typically consist of bursts of action potentials coupled to the -2 Hz respiration rhythm. Odor-evoked, rhythmic M/T cell excitation is reliable during odor presentation (2-4 sec); in contrast, both excitatory responses of granule cells and M/T cell lateral inhibition adapt quickly after the first respiration cycle in the presence of odorants. We also find that the amplitude and initial slope of odor-evoked synaptic excitation play an important role in regulating the timing of M/T cell spikes. Furthermore, differences in odor concentration alter the shape of odor-evoked excitatory synaptic responses, the latency of M/T cell spikes, and the timing of M/T cell lateral inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4108-4116
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2003


  • Dendrites
  • EPSP
  • Granule cell
  • Mitral cell
  • Olfaction
  • Spike integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'In vivo whole-cell recording of odor-evoked synaptic transmission in the rat olfactory bulb'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this