The role of different subtypes of olfactory bulb interneurons in olfactory behavior

Authors: Malvaut, Sarah
Advisor: Saghatelyan, Armen
Abstract: The olfactory bulb (OB) is considered as the first relay in the brain during olfactory processing. Several types of neurons are involved at the level of this structure in the refinement of the olfactory information before it is sent to higher cortical structures. Among the cell types involved is the population of granule cells (GC), a population of interneurons largely regulating the activity of OB principal cells. Interestingly, the OB retain during adulthood the ability to produce and renew part of its interneuronal pool through a process called adult neurogenesis. Therefore, it is possible to distinguish in the adult OB between GCs born during the early postnatal period (early-born GCs) to the one that were generated during adulthood (adult-born GCs). Several studies aimed at determining the precise role played by GC in olfactory processing and olfactory behavior, giving rise quite often to conflicting results. This absence of coherence in the data could come from the fact that for long, the population of GCs was considered as a homogeneous cell population. However, GCs were shown to express diverse neurochemical markers. In this study we investigated more particularly into two of those markers, showed to be expressed by GCs: the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (CaMKIIα) and Calretinin (CR). Hence, such a heterogeneity in the phenotype of OB interneurons could also underlie a functional heterogeneity of the different GC subpopulation, each one contributing in a unique way to olfactory processing and thus olfactory behavior. In the first part of this work, we investigated the functional role of CaMKIIα- expressing cells and compared it to the general population of GCs. Interestingly we revealed that CaMKIIα-positive GCs are more prone to activation following specific behavioral tasks, likely due to a decreased level of inhibition as compared to their negative counterparts. Moreover, the specific inhibition of this GC subpopulation let to alteration of animals’ fine discrimination abilities. In the second part of our work, when focusing this time on the subpopulation of CR-expressing GCs, taking this time also into account the developmental period at which they were generated (i.e early- versus adult-born cells), we showed that adultborn CR-expressing and non-expressing GCs, but also early-born CR-expressing GCs display different electrophysiological characteristics. Moreover, as for CaMKIIα- positive GCs, CR-positive GCs present a higher level of activation following specific olfactory tasks and are also important for a proper ability to perform olfactory discrimination tasks.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2019
Open Access Date: 13 December 2019
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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