Vaaga CE, Yorgason JT, Williams JT, Westbrook GL. Presynaptic gain control by endogenous cotransmission of dopamine and GABA in the olfactory bulb. J Neurophysiol 117: 1163–1170, 2017. First published December 28, 2016; doi:10.1152/jn.00694.2016.-In the olfactory bulb, lateral inhibition mediated by local juxtaglomerular interneurons has been proposed as a gain control mechanism, important for decorrelating odorant responses. Among juxtaglomerular interneurons, short axon cells are unique as dual-transmitter neurons that release dopamine and GABA. To examine their intraglomerular function, we expressed channelrhodopsin under control of the DATcre promoter and activated olfactory afferents within individual glomeruli. Optical stimulation of labeled cells triggered endogenous dopamine release as measured by cyclic voltammetry and GABA release as measured by whole cell GABAA receptor currents. Activation of short axon cells reduced the afferent presynaptic release probability via D2 and GABAB receptor activation, resulting in reduced spiking in both mitral and external tufted cells. Our results suggest that short axon cells influence glomerular activity not only by direct inhibition of external tufted cells but also by inhibition of afferent inputs to external tufted and mitral cells. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Sensory systems, including the olfactory system, encode information across a large dynamic range, making synaptic mechanisms of gain control critical to proper function. Here we demonstrate that a dual-transmitter interneuron in the olfactory bulb controls the gain of intraglomerular afferent input via two distinct mechanisms, presynaptic inhibition as well as inhibition of a principal neuron subtype, and thereby potently controls the synaptic gain of afferent inputs.
- Fast-scanning cyclic voltammetry
- Olfactory bulb
- Short axon cell
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