Olfactory bulb mitral cell

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Basic information

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Principal neuron located in the olfactory bulb in the mammalian central nervous system. In the olfactory bulb, cell bodies are arranged in a thin mitral cell body layer between the granule cell layer and the external plexiform layer. Each mitral cell is characterized usually by a single primary dendrite that traverses the external plexiform layer and terminates within an olfactory glomerulus in a tuft of branches where they receive input from the axons of olfactory receptor neurons. Axons of the mitral cells transfer information to a number of areas in the brain, including the piriform cortex, entorhinal cortex, olfactory tubercle, and amygdala (Shepherd, 1).

The cell soma’s shape is a Bishop's mitre, or cap-shaped, and measures 10-15 um. The dendrites of the cell are located in the glomerular and external plexiform layer.(Neurolex, 2).

Neuronal Type: Sensory Neuron Species: Mammals Other Names: Mitral neuron, Mitral cell


Anatomy

Located in the layer between the granule cell layer and the external plexiform layer of the olfactory bulb.


Molecular profile

Neurotransmitter: Glutamate Some studies have suggested that endogenous glutamate tonically modulates mitral cell excitability and responsiveness to olfactory nerve input,and hence the operation of the mitral olfactory bulb circuitry, via activation of mGluR1.

Physiology

The olfactory bulb mitral cells are apical, sparsely branching and 300-500 um length. The apical tuft is richly branching in glomerulus (100-200 um) and the basal (lateral) is sparsely branching (up to 1 mm in length).

Synaptic Connections

Synaptic Inputs

Synapses formed by the olfactory nerve (ON) provide the source of excitatory synaptic input onto mitral cells (MC) in the olfactory bulb. These synapses, which relay odor-specific inputs, are confined to the distally tufted single primary dendrites of MCs, the first stage of central olfactory processing (Yuan et al., 3).

Synaptic Outputs

Axons of the mitral cells transfer information to a number of areas in the brain, including the piriform cortex, entorhinal cortex, olfactory tubercle, and amygdala.

Spiking properties

Regular Spiker


Behavior

The olfactory bulb mitral cell is involved in the processing of information pertaining to odors and the sense of smell.

References

1. Shepherd, G. M. The synaptic organization of the brain, ed 5 New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 2. NeuroLex: Olfactory_bulb_main_mitral_cell 3. Calcium Signaling in Mitral Cell Dendrites of Olfactory Bulbs of Neonatal Rats and Mice During Olfactory Nerve Stimulation and β-Adrenoceptor Activation. Qi Yuan, Hiroki Mutoh, Franck Debarbieux, and Thomas Knöpfel.Learn. Mem. 2004. 11: 406-411.