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GABAergic neurons in the olfactory cortex projecting to the lateral hypothalamus in mice

Murata, K;Kinoshita, T;Fukazawa, Y;Kobayashi, K;Kobayashi, K;Miyamichi, K;Okuno, H;Bito, H;Sakurai, Y;Yamaguchi, M;Mori, K;Manabe, H;

Olfaction guides goal-directed behaviours including feeding. To investigate how central olfactory neural circuits control feeding behaviour in mice, we performed retrograde tracing from the lateral hypothalamus (LH), an important feeding centre. We observed a cluster of retrogradely labelled cells distributed in the posteroventral region of the olfactory peduncle. Histochemical analyses revealed that a majority of these retrogradely labelled projection neurons expressed glutamic acid decarboxylase 65/67 (GAD65/67), but not vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGluT1). We named this region with GABAergic projection neurons the ventral olfactory nucleus (VON) to discriminate it from the conventional olfactory peduncle. VON neurons were less immunoreactive for DARPP-32, a striatal neuron marker, in comparison to those in the olfactory tubercle and nucleus accumbens, which distinguished the VON from the ventral striatum. Fluorescent labelling confirmed synaptic contacts between VON neurons and olfactory bulb projection neurons. Rabies-virus-mediated trans-synaptic labelling revealed that VON neurons received synaptic inputs from the olfactory bulb, other olfactory cortices, horizontal limb of the diagonal band, and prefrontal cortex. Collectively, these results identified novel GABAergic projection neurons in the olfactory cortex that can integrate olfactory sensory and top-down inputs and send inhibitory output to the LH, which may contribute to forming odour-guided LH-related behaviours.