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Topographic embedding of MOR18-2 in the mouse olfactory bulb

Mice are exceptional in their ability to capture their chemical environment, mapping the olfactory world into a basic sensory representation with over one thousand different types of chemical sensors, that is, olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs). OSNs of each type converge in the olfactory bulb onto exclusive distinct physiological areas called glomeruli. The glomeruli constitute the first relay station of olfactory stimulus representation in the mouse brain. Thus, the stimulus induced glomerular input pattern spatially embodies an important part of the sensory representation in the olfactory bulb. Still, topographic organization principles (chemotopy, tunotopy) are under debate. One reason might be that investigation are, due to experimental limitations, only performed on stimuli sets in the size of one hundred odors. But this represents only a tiny snapshot of the vast amount of molecules in the olfactory world and topographic relationships might be disguised in the incomplete representation of molecular receptive ranges (MRR). Therefore we investigated the problem with the MOR18-2 glomerulus as point of reference: First we determined it's MRR. Then, based on a measurement set covering this MRR, we elucidated the topographic embedding. It shows that MOR18-2 is embedded in a hierarchy of patchy tunotopic domains.

This work was funded by DFG grants SCHM2474/1-1 and 1-2.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Soelter, J., Schumacher, J., Spors, H. et al. Topographic embedding of MOR18-2 in the mouse olfactory bulb. Flavour 3 (Suppl 1), P19 (2014).

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