Research Papers:

Piriform cortical glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons express coordinated plasticity for whisker-induced odor recall

Yahui Liu, Zilong Gao, Changfeng Chen, Bo Wen, Li Huang, Rongjing Ge, Shidi Zhao, Ruichen Fan, Jing Feng, Wei Lu, Liping Wang and Jin-Hui Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:95719-95740. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21207

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Yahui Liu1,*, Zilong Gao2,*, Changfeng Chen1,*, Bo Wen2, Li Huang1, Rongjing Ge1, Shidi Zhao1, Ruichen Fan1, Jing Feng5, Wei Lu5, Liping Wang3,4 and Jin-Hui Wang1,2,3,5

1Department of Pathophysiology, Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu 233000, China

2Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 10010, China

3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

4Shengzheng Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China

5Qingdao University, School of Pharmacy, Qingdao 266021, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jin-Hui Wang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: memory; glutamate GABA neuron; synapse; piriform cortex; plasticity homeostasis

Received: July 05, 2017    Accepted: August 17, 2017    Published: September 23, 2017


Neural plasticity occurs in learning and memory. Coordinated plasticity at glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons during memory formation remains elusive, which we investigate in a mouse model of associative learning by cellular imaging and electrophysiology. Paired odor and whisker stimulations lead to whisker-induced olfaction response. In mice that express this cross-modal memory, the neurons in the piriform cortex are recruited to encode newly acquired whisker signal alongside innate odor signal, and their response patterns to these associated signals are different. There are emerged synaptic innervations from barrel cortical neurons to piriform cortical neurons from these mice. These results indicate the recruitment of associative memory cells in the piriform cortex after associative memory. In terms of the structural and functional plasticity at these associative memory cells in the piriform cortex, glutamatergic neurons and synapses are upregulated, GABAergic neurons and synapses are downregulated as well as their mutual innervations are refined in the coordinated manner. Therefore, the associated activations of sensory cortices triggered by their input signals induce the formation of their mutual synapse innervations, the recruitment of associative memory cells and the coordinated plasticity between the GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons, which work for associative memory cells to encode cross-modal associated signals in their integration, associative storage and distinguishable retrieval.

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