Journal of Computational Neuroscience

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 25–38

Lateral dendritic shunt inhibition can regularize mitral cell spike patterning

  • François David
  • Christiane Linster
  • Thomas A. Cleland

DOI: 10.1007/s10827-007-0063-5

Cite this article as:
David, F., Linster, C. & Cleland, T.A. J Comput Neurosci (2008) 25: 25. doi:10.1007/s10827-007-0063-5


Mitral cells, the principal output neurons of the olfactory bulb, receive direct synaptic activation from primary sensory neurons. Shunting inhibitory inputs delivered by granule cell interneurons onto mitral cell lateral dendrites, while poorly positioned to prevent spike initiation, are believed to influence spike timing and underlie coordinated field potential oscillations. We investigated this phenomenon in a reduced compartmental mitral cell model suitable for incorporation into network simulations. Lateral dendritic shunt conductances delayed spiking to a degree dependent on both their electrotonic distance and phase of onset. Moreover, when the afferent activation of mitral cells was loosely coordinated in time, recurrent inhibition significantly narrowed the distribution of mitral cell spike times, illustrating a tendency towards coordinated synchronous activity. However, if mitral cell activity was initially disorganized, recurrent inhibition actually increased the variance in spike timing. This result suggests an essential role for early mechanisms of temporal coordination in olfaction, such as sniffing and the initial synchronization of mitral cell intrinsic oscillations by periglomerular cell-mediated inhibition.


GABAAGranule cellSynchronizationOlfactory bulbShunt inhibition

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • François David
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christiane Linster
    • 1
  • Thomas A. Cleland
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Neurobiology and BehaviorCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Neurosciences Sensorielles Comportement CognitionCNRS-Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1Lyon Cedex 07France
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA