The adult mammalian brain is continuously supplied with adult-born neurons in the olfactory bulb (OB) and hippocampus, where they are thought to be important for circuit coding and plasticity. However, direct evidence for the actual involvement of these neurons in neural processing is still lacking. We recorded the spiking activity of adult-born periglomerular neurons in the mouse OB in vivo using two-photon-targeted patch recordings. We show that odor responsiveness reaches a peak during neuronal development and then recedes at maturity. Sensory enrichment during development enhances the selectivity of adult-born neurons after maturation, without affecting neighboring resident neurons. Thus, in the OB circuit, adult-born neurons functionally integrate into the circuit, where they acquire distinct response profiles in an experience-dependent manner. The constant flow of these sensitive neurons into the circuit provides it with a mechanism of long-term plasticity, wherein new neurons mature to process odor information based on past demands.
Year of publication
Neuron. 2014 Mar 5;81(5):1097-1110