From Olfactory bulb to higher brain centers: Topography within secondary olfactory pathways in Mice
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In the vertebrate olfactory system, odor information is represented as topographic map in the olfactory bulb (OB, Schoenfeld et aI., 1996). However it remains unknown how this odor map is transferred from the olfactory bulb to olfactory cortex which includes anterior olfactory nucleus (AON) and piriform cortex. During experimentation with viral tracers and confocal visualization techniques in mice, we found that most of the projections from olfactory bulb end at layer Ib of piriform cortex which is a part of olfactory cortex. Furthermore, tracing mitral cell (Me) axons from olfactory bulb to piriform cortex revealed that individual Mes send axons to multiple target regions in the forebrain, and the Mes innervating from glomeruli take the trajectory from anterior olfactory nucleus to piriform cortex mainly end at layer Ib of the piriform cortex. Therefore, considering previous studies, we proposed that the topographic odor map in the olfactory bulb is not maintained intact, but reorganized in the olfactory cortex. Moreover, our findings of layer specificity and cell specificity using viral tracers within the piriform cortex rendered the olfactory cortex an attractive model for the studies of anatomy and function of olfactory bulb.
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