Li, J., Mack, J.A., Souren, M., Yaksi, E., Higashijima, S., Mione, M., Fetcho, J.R., and Friedrich, R.W. (2005) Early development of functional spatial maps in the zebrafish olfactory bulb. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 25(24):5784-95.
In the adult olfactory bulb (OB), particular chemical classes of odorants preferentially activate glomeruli within loosely defined regions, resulting in a coarse and fractured "chemotopic" map. In zebrafish, amino acids and bile acids predominantly stimulate glomeruli in the lateral and medial OB, respectively. We studied the development of these spatial response maps in zebrafish. At 3 d postfertilization (dpf), the OB contained protoglomerular structures that became refined and more numerous during subsequent days. In a transgenic zebrafish line expressing the Ca2+ indicator protein inverse pericam, mainly in mitral cells, odor responses in the OB were first detected at 2.5-3 dpf. Already at this stage, amino acids and bile acids evoked activity predominantly in the lateral and medial OB, respectively. Two-photon Ca2+ imaging using a synthetic indicator was used to reconstruct activity patterns at higher resolution in three dimensions. Responses to amino acids and bile acids were detected predominantly in the lateral and medial OB, respectively, with little overlap. Between 2.5 and 6 dpf, the number of odor-responsive units increased, but the overall spatial organization of activity persisted. Hence, a coarse spatial organization of functional activity maps is established very early during OB development when glomeruli are not yet differentiated. This spatial organization is maintained during development and growth of neuronal circuits and may have important functions for odor processing in larvae, for the differentiation of glomeruli, and for the refinement of activity maps at later developmental stages.