A study published in Nature Communications by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital and Rice University deepens in the function and relationship between different types of nerve cells.

Specifically, the team of researchers studied the function of a type of nerve cells called inhibitory interneurons, over two excitatory nerve cell types, called mitral cells and tufted cells, regarding the olfactory bulb in mice models.

For the study, the scientists removed the ability of inhibitory interneurons to impede the activity of tufted cells and mitral cells in mice models. Then, they studied the effects using live 2-photon imaging, specific genetic tools, optogenetic mapping, computational modeling, and electrophysiological data.

The scientists found that tufted cells and mitral cells changed drastically the way they responded to odors. Surprisingly, the responses change less dramatically in mitral cells than in tufted cells.

The brain is composed by many types of neurons. This study reveals new insights on the complex functional relationships among the vast diversity of cell types in the brain; and in order to start to understand how the brain processes sensory information, it is important to understand these relationships.

 

Source: Science Daily