Bundschuh, S.T., Zhu, P., Schärer, Y.P., and Friedrich, R.W. (2012) Dopaminergic modulation of mitral cells and odor responses in the zebrafish olfactory bulb. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 32(20):6830-6840.
In the olfactory bulb, the modulatory neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) is coexpressed with GABA by local interneurons, but its
role in odor processing remains obscure. We examined functions of DA mediated by D2-like receptors in the olfactory bulb of adult zebrafish by pharmacology, whole-cell recordings, calcium imaging, and optogenetics.
Bath application of DA had no detectable effect on odorant-evoked sensory input. DA directly hyperpolarized mitral cells (MCs)
via D2-like receptors and slightly increased their response gain. Consistent with this effect on input–output functions of MCs,
small odorant responses were suppressed, whereas strong responses were enhanced in the presence of DA. These effects increased
the root-mean-square contrast of population activity patterns but did not reduce their correlations. Optical stimulation of
interneurons expressing channelrhodopsin-2 evoked fast GABAergic inhibitory currents in mitral cells but failed to activate
D2 receptor-mediated currents when stimuli were short. Prolonged stimulus trains, however, activated a slow hyperpolarizing
current that was blocked by an antagonist of D2-like receptors. GABA and DA are therefore both released from interneurons by electrical activity and hyperpolarize MCs, but
D2-dependent dopaminergic effects occur on slower timescales. Additional effects of DA may be mediated by D1-like receptors. These results indicate that DA acts on D2-like receptors via asynchronous release and/or volume transmission and implicate DA in the slow adaptation of circuit function.
The shift of the membrane potential away from spike threshold could adapt mitral cells to background input without compromising