The detection of odorant receptor mRNAs within the axon terminals of sensory neurons has permitted us to ask whether neurons expressing a given receptor project their axons to common glomeruli within the olfactory bulb. In situ hybridization with five different receptor probes demonstrates that axons from neurons expressing a given receptor converge on one, or at most, a few glomeruli within the olfactory bulb. Moreover, the position of specific glomeruli is bilaterally symmetric and is constant in different individuals within a species. These data support a model in which exposure to a given odorant may result in the stimulation of a spatially restricted set of glomeruli, such that the individual odorants would be associated with specific topographic patterns of activity within the olfactory bulb.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)