Long-Term Plasticity at the Mitral and Tufted Cell to Granule Cell Synapse of the Olfactory Bulb Investigated with a Custom Multielectrode in Acute Brain Slice Preparations
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Single extracellular stimulation electrodes are a widespread means to locally activate synaptic inputs in acute brain slices. Here we describe the fabrication and application of a multielectrode stimulator that was developed for conditions under which independent stimulation of several nearby sites is desirable. For the construction of the multielectrode we have developed a method by which electrode wires can be spaced at minimal distances of 100 μm. This configuration increases the efficiency of stimulation paradigms, such as the comparison of proximal induced and control inputs for studies of synaptic plasticity.
In our case the multielectrode was used for acute olfactory bulb slices to independently excite individual nearby glomeruli; the technique allowed us to demonstrate homosynaptic bidirectional long-term plasticity at the mitral/tufted cell to granule cell synapse. We also describe the determinants for successful recordings of long-term plasticity at this synapse, with mechanical and electrophysiological recording stability being tantamount. Finally, we briefly discuss data analysis procedures.
Key wordsLong-term plasticity Multielectrode Olfactory bulb Glomerulus Homosynaptic
The construction technique of the microelectrode was established in close collaboration with the mechanical workshop at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Robert Waberer). We thank Günes Birdal for the electrode photographs in Fig. 1a, b. This work was supported by DFG grants (EG135/2, EG135/4) to V.E., the Priority Program 1665 of the German Research Foundation (HO 2156/3-1/2 to KH), the Collaborative Research Center/Transregio 166 of the German Research Foundation (B3 to KH), and the Research Group FO 1738 (WI 830/10-2 to KH).
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