Volume 36, Issue. 6, June, 2020

Plasticity of Sniffing Pattern and Neural Activity in the Olfactory Bulb of Behaving Mice During Odor Sampling, Anticipation, and Reward

Penglai Liu 1 • Tiantian Cao1 • Jinshan Xu1 • Xingfeng Mao1 • Dejuan Wang1 • Anan Li 1

1 Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Brain Disease and Bioinformation, Research Center for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou 221004, China


The olfactory bulb (OB) is the first relay station in the olfactory system. In the OB, mitral/tufted cells (M/ Ts), which are the main output neurons, play important roles in the processing and representation of odor information. Recent studies focusing on the function of M/Ts at the single-cell level in awake behaving mice have demonstrated that odor-evoked firing of single M/Ts displays transient/long-term plasticity during learning. Here, we tested whether the neural activity of M/Ts and sniffing patterns are dependent on anticipation and reward in awake behaving mice. We used an odor discrimination task combined with in vivo electrophysiological recordings in awake, head-fixed mice, and found that, while learning induced plasticity of spikes and beta oscillations during odor sampling, we also found plasticity of spikes, beta oscillation, sniffing pattern, and coherence between sniffing and theta oscillations during the periods of anticipation and/or reward. These results indicate that the activity of M/Ts plays important roles not only in odor representation but also in salience-related events such as anticipation and reward.


Olfactory bulb; In vivo electrophysiological recording; Go/no-go; Odor representation


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