Valence opponency in peripheral olfactory processing.

TitleValence opponency in peripheral olfactory processing.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsWu S-T, Chen J-Y, Martin V, Ng R, Zhang Y, Grover D, Greenspan RJ, Aljadeff J, Su C-Y
JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Date Published2022 Feb 01

A hallmark of complex sensory systems is the organization of neurons into functionally meaningful maps, which allow for comparison and contrast of parallel inputs via lateral inhibition. However, it is unclear whether such a map exists in olfaction. Here, we address this question by determining the organizing principle underlying the stereotyped pairing of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) in sensory hairs, wherein compartmentalized neurons inhibit each other via ephaptic coupling. Systematic behavioral assays reveal that most paired ORNs antagonistically regulate the same type of behavior. Such valence opponency is relevant in critical behavioral contexts including place preference, egg laying, and courtship. Odor-mixture experiments show that ephaptic inhibition provides a peripheral means for evaluating and shaping countervailing cues relayed to higher brain centers. Furthermore, computational modeling suggests that this organization likely contributes to processing ratio information in odor mixtures. This olfactory valence map may have evolved to swiftly process ethologically meaningful odor blends without involving costly synaptic computation.

Alternate JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
PubMed ID35091473
IRG Funded
Greenspan Laboratory