Video-microscopic analysis of dye coupling in the salamander olfactory bulb

J. Du, R. E. Maloney, K. A. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Cells in the mitral cell (MCL) and granule cell (GCL) layers of the olfactory bulb shape the representation of odor information in the brain. After intracellular Lucifer Yellow (LY) injections into lightly fixed olfactory bulb slices, clusters of dye coupled cells were previously observed in the MCL and GCL, but the relative extent of coupling in the two layers was unknown in adults. In the present study, the time course of LY coupling in the adult salamander olfactory bulb was quantified using video-microscopic methods. Analysis of fluorescent cell body counts showed that the incidence and the extent of LY coupling are greater in the GCL than in the MCL. With optimal low-current injection procedures, 97% of the injections into the GCL exhibited at least one coupled cell, and on average groups of six to eight cells were counted. Fewer injections into the MCL exhibited only one to three coupled cells. Some of these coupled cells were clearly mitral cells. No staining of cells was observed after extracellular LY injections, and intracellular injections of dextran dyes stained single cells, providing evidence that the LY coupled cells were stained through an intercellular route, presumably gap junctions. In live intact preparations, rapid LY staining of cell clusters was also observed using patch pipettes. Together, these results provide evidence that robust coupling occurs among olfactory bulb neurons in adults, which could have functional significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-397
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 15 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Amphibia
  • Dye coupling
  • Gap junctions
  • Lucifer yellow
  • Olfactory bulb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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