Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 74, Issue 5, pp 849–867

Determination of the connectivity of newborn neurons in mammalian olfactory circuits


DOI: 10.1007/s00018-016-2367-y

Cite this article as:
Ravi, N., Sanchez-Guardado, L., Lois, C. et al. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2017) 74: 849. doi:10.1007/s00018-016-2367-y


The mammalian olfactory bulb is a forebrain structure just one synapse downstream from the olfactory sensory neurons and performs the complex computations of sensory inputs. The formation of this sensory circuit is shaped through activity-dependent and cell-intrinsic mechanisms. Recent studies have revealed that cell-type specific connectivity and the organization of synapses in dendritic compartments are determined through cell-intrinsic programs already preset in progenitor cells. These progenitor programs give rise to subpopulations within a neuron type that have distinct synaptic organizations. The intrinsically determined formation of distinct synaptic organizations requires factors from contacting cells that match the cell-intrinsic programs. While certain genes control wiring within the newly generated neurons, other regulatory genes provide intercellular signals and are only expressed in neurons that will form contacts with the newly generated cells. Here, the olfactory system has provided a useful model circuit to reveal the factors regulating assembly of the highly structured connectivity in mammals.


Development Synaptogenesis Cell fate Transcription factor Mouse 



Anterior olfactory cortex


External plexiform layer


External tufted cells


Granule cell


Granule cell layer


Mitral cell


Mitral cell layer


Middle tufted cells


Olfactory sensory neurons

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty MannheimHeidelberg UniversityMannheimGermany
  2. 2.Division of Biology and Biological EngineeringCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

Personalised recommendations