Friedrich, R.W. (2014) Calcium imaging in the intact olfactory system of zebrafish and mouse. Cold Spring Harbor protocols. 2014:310-6.
Odors are first detected by olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) and evoke stimulus-specific patterns of activation across the
input channels of the olfactory bulb (OB), the glomeruli. The output of the OB consists of spatiotemporal activity patterns
across mitral/tufted cells that are conveyed to multiple pallial and subpallial target areas. In the main olfactory system
of vertebrates, as well as in the olfactory system of insects, odor information is encoded by distributed patterns of activity
across a large number of glomeruli or neurons. Ca2+ imaging has therefore become an important approach used to analyse the encoding and processing of olfactory information by
populations of glomeruli or neurons. Experiments in the intact olfactory system are important to maintain the integrity of
the system, to analyse activity patterns evoked by natural odors, and to examine the influence of active sampling strategies,
such as sniffing in mammals. This protocol focuses on how to visualize glomerular Ca2+ signals after loading a dextran-coupled Ca2+ indicator into OSNs. Separate procedures are described for zebrafish and mice.
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