Matt Wachowiak, Michael N. Economo, Marta Díaz-Quesada, Daniela Brunert, Daniel W. Wesson, John A. White, and Markus Rothermel. Optical Dissection of Odor Information Processing In Vivo Using GCaMPs Expressed in Specified Cell Types of the Olfactory Bulb. The Journal of Neuroscience, 20 March 2013, 33(12): 5285-5300;

Understanding central processing requires precise monitoring of neural activity across populations of identified neurons in the intact brain. In the present study, we used recently optimized variants of the genetically encoded calcium sensor GCaMP (GCaMP3 and GCaMPG5G) to image activity among genetically and anatomically defined neuronal populations in the olfactory bulb (OB), including two types of GABAergic interneurons (periglomerular [PG] and short axon [SA] cells) and OB output neurons (mitral/tufted [MT] cells) projecting to the piriform cortex. We first established that changes in neuronal spiking can be related accurately to GCaMP fluorescence changes via a simple quantitative relationship over a large dynamic range. We next used in vivo two-photon imaging from individual neurons and epifluorescence signals reflecting population-level activity to investigate the spatiotemporal representation of odorants across these neuron types in anesthetized and awake mice. Under anesthesia, individual PG and SA cells showed temporally simple responses and little spontaneous activity, whereas MT cells were spontaneously active and showed diverse temporal responses. At the population level, response patterns of PG, SA, and MT cells were surprisingly similar to those imaged from sensory inputs, with shared odorant-specific topography across the dorsal OB and inhalation-coupled temporal dynamics. During wakefulness, PG and SA cell responses increased in magnitude but remained temporally simple, whereas those of MT cells changed to complex spatiotemporal patterns reflecting restricted excitation and widespread inhibition. These results suggest multiple circuit elements with distinct roles in transforming odor representations in the OB and provide a framework for further study of early olfactory processing using optical and genetic tools.