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Functional synapse formation between cultured rat accessory olfactory bulb neurons and vomeronasal pockets



Functional synapse formation between cultured rat accessory olfactory bulb neurons and vomeronasal pockets



Neuroscience 141(1): 475-486



To investigate the interaction between vomeronasal receptor neurons and accessory olfactory bulb neurons during pheromonal signal processing and specific synapse formation, partially dissociated rat vomeronasal receptor neurons were co-cultured with accessory olfactory bulb neurons. Between 7 and 14 days in co-culture, a few bundles of fibers from a spherical structure, termed the vomeronasal pocket, of cultured vomeronasal receptor neurons extended to the accessory olfactory bulb neurons. An optical recording of the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration was used to monitor the synaptic activation of cultured accessory olfactory bulb neurons. Electrical stimulation of the vomeronasal pocket between 7 and 14 days in co-culture had no effects on most of the cultured neurons tested, although it occasionally evoked weak responses in a small number of neurons. In contrast, vomeronasal pocket stimulation after 21 days in co-culture evoked clear calcium transients in a substantial number of cultured accessory olfactory bulb neurons. These responses of accessory olfactory bulb neurons were reversibly suppressed by the application of 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione; the calcium transients disappeared in most of the neurons and were diminished in the others. The application of d-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid partially affected the calcium transients, but blocked spontaneous calcium increases, which were observed repeatedly in accessory olfactory bulb-alone cultures. The application of both 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione and d-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid completely blocked the evoked calcium transients. These results suggest that functional glutamatergic synapses between vomeronasal receptor neurons and accessory olfactory bulb neurons were formed at around 21 days in co-culture.

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Accession: 012107324

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 16677769

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.03.051


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