With electrophysiological techniques, we found phase-dependent modification of the efficacy of signal transmission in the procerebrum (PC), the oscillatory olfactory center, of the terres-trial mollusk Limax marginatus and elucidated its neuronal mecha-nism. Previous studies have indicated that about 105 PC neurons can be classified into only two types: bursting (B) neurons and nonbursting (NB) neurons, and both types of neurons have ongoing and phase-locked periodic oscillation of their membrane potentials. On olfactory nerve stimulation, excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) were evoked with a constant latency in NB neurons, while EPSPs with a variable latency were evoked in B neurons, These findings suggest a monosynaptic connection from the olfactory nerve to NB neurons, but a polysynaptic connection between the olfactory nerve and B neurons. This polysynaptic transmission is most likely mediated by NB neurons because the olfactory nerve makes synaptic connection only with NB neurons in the PC. The latency of the evoked EPSPs in B neurons depended on the phase of the PC oscillatory activity, presumably because of the oscillation of the intervening NB neurons. These results suggest that the efficacy of olfactory nerve-B neuron polysynaptic transmission is regulated by the activity level of the phasically oscillating NB neurons. Thus, the intrinsic oscillation in the PC can serve as a filter for olfactory information conveyed from the olfactory nerve as a train of neuronal spikes. This filtering system may also produce a phase-dependent modification by the olfactory input of the PC oscillation frequency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas