Experience-dependent plasticity in accessory olfactory bulb interneurons following male–male social interaction

Hillary L. Cansler, Marina A. Maksimova, Julian P. Meeks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Chemosensory information processing in the mouse accessory olfactory system guides the expression of social behavior. After salient chemosensory encounters, the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) experiences changes in the balance of excitation and inhibition at reciprocal synapses between mitral cells (MCs) and local interneurons. The mechanisms underlying these changes remain controversial. Moreover, it remains unclear whether MC–interneuron plasticity is unique to specific behaviors, such as mating, or whether it is a more general feature of theAOBcircuit. Here, we describe targeted electrophysiological studies ofAOBinhibitory internal granule cells (IGCs), many of which upregulate the immediate-early gene Arc after male–male social experience. Following the resident–intruder paradigm, Arc-expressing IGCs in acute AOB slices from resident males displayed stronger excitation than nonexpressing neighbors when sensory inputs were stimulated. The increased excitability of Arc-expressing IGCs was not correlated with changes in the strength or number of excitatory synapses with MCs but was instead associated with increased intrinsic excitability and decreased HCN channel-mediated IH currents. Consistent with increased inhibition by IGCs, MCs responded to sensory input stimulation with decreased depolarization and spiking following resident–intruder encounters. These results reveal that nonmating behaviors drive AOB inhibitory plasticity and indicate that increased MC inhibition involves intrinsic excitability changes in Arc-expressing interneurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7240-7252
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 26 2017


  • Accessory olfactory bulb
  • Chemical senses
  • Experience-dependent plasticity
  • Interneuron
  • Intrinsic excitability
  • Sensory Processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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