Transformation of the sex pheromone signal in the noctuid moth agrotis ipsilon: From peripheral input to antennal lobe output

D. Jarriault, C. Gadenne, P. Lucas, J.-P. Rospars, S. Anton
Chemical Senses. 2010-07-02; 35(8): 705-715
DOI: 10.1093/chemse/bjq069

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How information is transformed along synaptic processing stages is critically
important to understand the neural basis of behavior in any sensory system. In
moths, males rely on sex pheromone to find their mating partner. It is essential
for a male to recognize the components present in a pheromone blend, their ratio,
and the temporal pattern of the signal. To examine pheromone processing
mechanisms at different levels of the olfactory pathway, we performed single-cell
recordings of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) in the antenna and intracellular
recordings of central neurons in the macroglomerular complex (MGC) of the
antennal lobe of sexually mature Agrotis ipsilon male moths, using the same
pheromone stimuli, stimulation protocol, and response analyses. Detailed
characteristics of the ORN and MGC-neuron responses were compared to describe the
transformation of the neuronal responses that takes place in the MGC. Although
the excitatory period of the response is similar in both neuron populations, the
addition of an inhibitory phase following the MGC neuron excitatory phase
indicates participation of local interneurons (LN), which remodel the ORN input.
Moreover, MGC neurons showed a wider tuning and a higher sensitivity to single
pheromone components than ORNs.


Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus