Olfactory learning without the mushroom bodies: Spiking neural network models of the honeybee lateral antennal lobe tract reveal its capacities in odour memory tasks of varied complexities.
ABSTRACT: The honeybee olfactory system is a well-established model for understanding functional mechanisms of learning and memory. Olfactory stimuli are first processed in the antennal lobe, and then transferred to the mushroom body and lateral horn through dual pathways termed medial and lateral antennal lobe tracts (m-ALT and l-ALT). Recent studies reported that honeybees can perform elemental learning by associating an odour with a reward signal even after lesions in m-ALT or blocking the mushroom bodies. To test the hypothesis that the lateral pathway (l-ALT) is sufficient for elemental learning, we modelled local computation within glomeruli in antennal lobes with axons of projection neurons connecting to a decision neuron (LHN) in the lateral horn. We show that inhibitory spike-timing dependent plasticity (modelling non-associative plasticity by exposure to different stimuli) in the synapses from local neurons to projection neurons decorrelates the projection neurons' outputs. The strength of the decorrelations is regulated by global inhibitory feedback within antennal lobes to the projection neurons. By additionally modelling octopaminergic modification of synaptic plasticity among local neurons in the antennal lobes and projection neurons to LHN connections, the model can discriminate and generalize olfactory stimuli. Although positive patterning can be accounted for by the l-ALT model, negative patterning requires further processing and mushroom body circuits. Thus, our model explains several-but not all-types of associative olfactory learning and generalization by a few neural layers of odour processing in the l-ALT. As an outcome of the combination between non-associative and associative learning, the modelling approach allows us to link changes in structural organization of honeybees' antennal lobes with their behavioural performances over the course of their life.
Project description:Feedback plays important roles in sensory processing. Mushroom bodies are believed to be involved in olfactory learning/memory and multisensory integration in insects. Previous cobalt-labeling studies have suggested the existence of feedback from the mushroom bodies to the antennal lobes in the honey bee. In this study, the existence of functional feedback from Drosophila mushroom bodies to the antennal lobes was investigated through ectopic expression of the ATP receptor P2X(2) in the Kenyon cells of mushroom bodies. Activation of Kenyon cells induced depolarization in projection neurons and local interneurons in the antennal lobes in a nicotinic receptor-dependent manner. Activation of Kenyon cell axons in the betagamma-lobes in the mushroom body induced more potent responses in the antennal lobe neurons than activation of Kenyon cell somata. Our results indicate that functional feedback from Kenyon cells to projection neurons and local interneurons is present in Drosophila and is likely mediated by the betagamma-lobes. The presence of this functional feedback from the mushroom bodies to the antennal lobes suggests top-down modulation of olfactory information processing in Drosophila.
Project description:In the antennal lobe of Drosophila, information about odors is transferred from olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) to projection neurons (PNs), which then send axons to neurons in the lateral horn of the protocerebrum (LHNs) and to Kenyon cells (KCs) in the mushroom body. The transformation from ORN to PN responses can be described by a normalization model similar to what has been used in modeling visually responsive neurons. We study the implications of this transformation for the generation of LHN and KC responses under the hypothesis that LHN responses are highly selective and therefore suitable for driving innate behaviors, whereas KCs provide a more general sparse representation of odors suitable for forming learned behavioral associations. Our results indicate that the transformation from ORN to PN firing rates in the antennal lobe equalizes the magnitudes of and decorrelates responses to different odors through feedforward nonlinearities and lateral suppression within the circuitry of the antennal lobe, and we study how these two components affect LHN and KC responses.
Project description:This article describes the cellular sources for tyramine and the cellular targets of tyramine via the Tyramine Receptor 1 (AmTyr1) in the olfactory learning and memory neuropils of the honey bee brain. Clusters of approximately 160 tyramine immunoreactive neurons are the source of tyraminergic fibers with small varicosities in the optic lobes, antennal lobes, lateral protocerebrum, mushroom body (calyces and gamma lobes), tritocerebrum and subesophageal ganglion (SEG). Our tyramine mapping study shows that the primary sources of tyramine in the antennal lobe and calyx of the mushroom body are from at least two Ventral Unpaired Median neurons (VUMmd and VUMmx) with cell bodies in the SEG. To reveal AmTyr1 receptors in the brain, we used newly characterized anti-AmTyr1 antibodies. Immunolocalization studies in the antennal lobe with anti-AmTyr1 antibodies showed that the AmTyr1 expression pattern is mostly in the presynaptic sites of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs). In the mushroom body calyx, anti-AmTyr1 mapped the presynaptic sites of uniglomerular Projection Neurons (PNs) located primarily in the microglomeruli of the lip and basal ring calyx area. Release of tyramine/octopamine from VUM (md and mx) neurons in the antennal lobe and mushroom body calyx would target AmTyr1 expressed on ORN and uniglomerular PN presynaptic terminals. The presynaptic location of AmTyr1, its structural similarity with vertebrate alpha-2 adrenergic receptors, and previous pharmacological evidence suggests that it has an important role in the presynaptic inhibitory control of neurotransmitter release.
Project description:In the honeybee brain, two prominent tracts - the medial and the lateral antennal lobe tract - project from the primary olfactory center, the antennal lobes (ALs), to the central brain, the mushroom bodies (MBs), and the protocerebral lobe (PL). Intracellularly stained uniglomerular projection neurons were reconstructed, registered to the 3D honeybee standard brain atlas, and then used to derive the spatial properties and quantitative morphology of the neurons of both tracts. We evaluated putative synaptic contacts of projection neurons (PNs) using confocal microscopy. Analysis of the patterns of axon terminals revealed a domain-like innervation within the MB lip neuropil. PNs of the lateral tract arborized more sparsely within the lips and exhibited fewer synaptic boutons, while medial tract neurons occupied broader regions in the MB calyces and the PL. Our data show that uPNs from the medial and lateral tract innervate both the core and the cortex of the ipsilateral MB lip but differ in their innervation patterns in these regions. In the mushroombody neuropil collar we found evidence for ALT boutons suggesting the collar as a multi modal input site including olfactory input similar to lip and basal ring. In addition, our data support the conclusion drawn in previous studies that reciprocal synapses exist between PNs, octopaminergic-, and GABAergic cells in the MB calyces. For the first time, we found evidence for connections between both tracts within the AL.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Optical Projection Tomography (OPT) is a microscopic technique that generates three dimensional images from whole mount samples the size of which exceeds the maximum focal depth of confocal laser scanning microscopes. As an advancement of conventional emission-OPT, Scanning Laser Optical Tomography (SLOTy) allows simultaneous detection of fluorescence and absorbance with high sensitivity. In the present study, we employ SLOTy in a paradigm of brain plasticity in an insect model system. METHODOLOGY: We visualize and quantify volumetric changes in sensory information procession centers in the adult locust, Locusta migratoria. Olfactory receptor neurons, which project from the antenna into the brain, are axotomized by crushing the antennal nerve or ablating the entire antenna. We follow the resulting degeneration and regeneration in the olfactory centers (antennal lobes and mushroom bodies) by measuring their size in reconstructed SLOTy images with respect to the untreated control side. Within three weeks post treatment antennal lobes with ablated antennae lose as much as 60% of their initial volume. In contrast, antennal lobes with crushed antennal nerves initially shrink as well, but regain size back to normal within three weeks. The combined application of transmission-and fluorescence projections of Neurobiotin labeled axotomized fibers confirms that recovery of normal size is restored by regenerated afferents. Remarkably, SLOTy images reveal that degeneration of olfactory receptor axons has a trans-synaptic effect on second order brain centers and leads to size reduction of the mushroom body calyx. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that SLOTy is a suitable method for rapid screening of volumetric plasticity in insect brains and suggests its application also to vertebrate preparations.
Project description:Olfactory associative learning in Drosophila is mediated by synaptic plasticity between the Kenyon cells of the mushroom body and their output neurons. Both Kenyon cells and their inputs from projection neurons are cholinergic, yet little is known about the physiological function of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in learning in adult flies. Here, we show that aversive olfactory learning in adult flies requires type A muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChR-A), particularly in the gamma subtype of Kenyon cells. mAChR-A inhibits odor responses and is localized in Kenyon cell dendrites. Moreover, mAChR-A knockdown impairs the learning-associated depression of odor responses in a mushroom body output neuron. Our results suggest that mAChR-A function in Kenyon cell dendrites is required for synaptic plasticity between Kenyon cells and their output neurons.
Project description:Nervous systems contain sensory neurons, local neurons, projection neurons, and motor neurons. To understand how these building blocks form whole circuits, we must distil these broad classes into neuronal cell types and describe their network connectivity. Using an electron micrograph dataset for an entire Drosophila melanogaster brain, we reconstruct the first complete inventory of olfactory projections connecting the antennal lobe, the insect analog of the mammalian olfactory bulb, to higher-order brain regions in an adult animal brain. We then connect this inventory to extant data in the literature, providing synaptic-resolution "holotypes" both for heavily investigated and previously unknown cell types. Projection neurons are approximately twice as numerous as reported by light level studies; cell types are stereotyped, but not identical, in cell and synapse numbers between brain hemispheres. The lateral horn, the insect analog of the mammalian cortical amygdala, is the main target for this olfactory information and has been shown to guide innate behavior. Here, we find new connectivity motifs, including axo-axonic connectivity between projection neurons, feedback, and lateral inhibition of these axons by a large population of neurons, and the convergence of different inputs, including non-olfactory inputs and memory-related feedback onto third-order olfactory neurons. These features are less prominent in the mushroom body calyx, the insect analog of the mammalian piriform cortex and a center for associative memory. Our work provides a complete neuroanatomical platform for future studies of the adult Drosophila olfactory system.
Project description:Connections between neuronal populations may be genetically hardwired or random. In the insect olfactory system, projection neurons of the antennal lobe connect randomly to Kenyon cells of the mushroom body. Consequently, while the odor responses of the projection neurons are stereotyped across individuals, the responses of the Kenyon cells are variable. Surprisingly, downstream of Kenyon cells, mushroom body output neurons show stereotypy in their responses. We found that the stereotypy is enabled by the convergence of inputs from many Kenyon cells onto an output neuron, and does not require learning. The stereotypy emerges in the total response of the Kenyon cell population using multiple odor-specific features of the projection neuron responses, benefits from the nonlinearity in the transfer function, depends on the convergence:randomness ratio, and is constrained by sparseness. Together, our results reveal the fundamental mechanisms and constraints with which convergence enables stereotypy in sensory responses despite random connectivity.
Project description:Sparse coding presents practical advantages for sensory representations and memory storage. In the insect olfactory system, the representation of general odors is dense in the antennal lobes but sparse in the mushroom bodies, only one synapse downstream. In locusts, this transformation relies on the oscillatory structure of antennal lobe output, feed-forward inhibitory circuits, intrinsic properties of mushroom body neurons, and connectivity between antennal lobe and mushroom bodies. Here we show the existence of a normalizing negative-feedback loop within the mushroom body to maintain sparse output over a wide range of input conditions. This loop consists of an identifiable "giant" nonspiking inhibitory interneuron with ubiquitous connectivity and graded release properties.
Project description:We identified the neurons comprising the Drosophila mushroom body (MB), an associative center in invertebrate brains, and provide a comprehensive map describing their potential connections. Each of the 21 MB output neuron (MBON) types elaborates segregated dendritic arbors along the parallel axons of ?2000 Kenyon cells, forming 15 compartments that collectively tile the MB lobes. MBON axons project to five discrete neuropils outside of the MB and three MBON types form a feedforward network in the lobes. Each of the 20 dopaminergic neuron (DAN) types projects axons to one, or at most two, of the MBON compartments. Convergence of DAN axons on compartmentalized Kenyon cell-MBON synapses creates a highly ordered unit that can support learning to impose valence on sensory representations. The elucidation of the complement of neurons of the MB provides a comprehensive anatomical substrate from which one can infer a functional logic of associative olfactory learning and memory.