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New insights into how the brain works

Date:
July 29, 2019
Source:
Baylor College of Medicine
Summary:
This study provides new insights into the functional relationships between inhibitory and excitatory neurons in the brain.
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The brain is composed of many different types of neurons, and scientists are just beginning to uncover the functional significance of this vast cellular diversity. At Baylor College of Medicine, Drs. Benjamin Arenkiel, Gary Liu and their colleagues at Baylor, the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital and Rice University studied the functional relationships between inhibitory interneurons, a type of nerve cell, and two excitatory cell types, called tufted cells and mitral cells, in the murine olfactory bulb.

Using cell-type specific genetic tools, optogenetic mapping, electrophysiological data, live 2-photon imaging and computational modeling, the researchers discovered that when they removed the ability of inhibitory interneurons to inhibit the activity of tufted cells and mitral cells, these excitatory neurons dramatically changed the way they responded to odors. Unexpectedly, the responses changed more drastically in tufted cells than in mitral cells. The study appears today in the journal Nature Communications.

These findings provide new insights into the complex functional consequences of the vast diversity of cell types in the brain and underscore the need to better understand these relationships in order to grasp how the brain processes sensory information.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Baylor College of Medicine. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gary Liu, Emmanouil Froudarakis, Jay M. Patel, Mikhail Y. Kochukov, Brandon Pekarek, Patrick J. Hunt, Mayuri Patel, Kevin Ung, Chia-Hsuan Fu, Juyeong Jo, Hyun-Kyoung Lee, Andreas S. Tolias, Benjamin R. Arenkiel. Target specific functions of EPL interneurons in olfactory circuits. Nature Communications, 2019; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-11354-y

Cite This Page:

Baylor College of Medicine. "New insights into how the brain works." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190729132346.htm>.
Baylor College of Medicine. (2019, July 29). New insights into how the brain works. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 19, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190729132346.htm
Baylor College of Medicine. "New insights into how the brain works." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190729132346.htm (accessed May 19, 2024).

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