The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Compensation of depleted neuronal subsets by new neurons in a local area of the adult olfactory bulb.

PMID 21775599


In the olfactory bulb (OB), loss of preexisting granule cells (GCs) and incorporation of adult-born new GCs continues throughout life. GCs consist of distinct subsets. Here, we examined whether the loss and incorporation of GC subsets are coordinated in the OB. We classified GCs into mGluR2-expressing and -negative subsets and selectively ablated mGluR2-expressing GCs in a local area of the OB with immunotoxin-mediated cell ablation method. The density of mGluR2-expressing GCs showed considerable recovery within several weeks after the ablation. During recovery, an mGluR2-expressing new GC subset was preferentially incorporated over an mGluR2-negative new GC subset in the area of ablation, whereas the preferential incorporation was not observed in the intact area. The area-specific preferential incorporation of mGluR2-expressing new GCs occurred for BrdU analog- and retrovirus-labeled adult-born cells as well as for neonate-derived transplanted cells. The mGluR2-expressing new GCs in the ablated area were synaptically incorporated into the local bulbar circuit. The spine size of mGluR2-expressing new GCs in the ablated area was larger than that of those in the intact area. In contrast, mGluR2-negative new GCs did not show ablated area-specific spine enlargement. These results indicate that local OB areas have a mechanism to coordinate the loss and incorporation of GC subsets by compensatory incorporation of new GC subsets, which involves subset-specific cellular incorporation and subset-specific regulation of spine size.