Interneurons in the olfactory bulb are key elements of odor processing but their roles have not yet being fully understood. Two types of inhibitory interneurons, periglomerular and granule cells, act at two different levels within the olfactory bulb and may have different roles in coordinating the spiking of mitral cells, which are the principal output neurons of the olfactory bulb. In this work we introduce a reduced compartmental model of the periglomerular cell and use it to investigate its role on mitral cell spiking in a model of an elementary cell triad composed of these two cell types plus a granule cell. Our simulation results show that the periglomerular cell is more effective in inhibiting the mitral cell than the granule cell. Based on our results we predict that periglomerular and granule cells have different roles in the control of mitral cell spiking. The periglomerular cell would be the only one capable of completely inhibiting the mitral cell, and the activity decrease of the mitral cell through this inhibitory action would occur in a stepwise fashion depending on parameters of the periglomerular and granule cells as well as on the relative times of arrival of external stimuli to the three cells. The major role of the granule cell would be to facilitate the inhibitory action of the periglomerular cell by enlarging the range of parameters of the periglomerular cell which correspond to complete inhibition of the mitral cell. The combined action of the two interneurons would thus provide an efficient way of controling the instantaneous value of the firing rate of the mitral cell. © 2013 Arruda et al.
Arruda, D., Publio, R., & Roque, A. C. (2013). The Periglomerular Cell of the Olfactory Bulb and its Role in Controlling Mitral Cell Spiking: A Computational Model. PLoS ONE, 8(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0056148