Development and Refinement of Functional Properties of Adult-Born Neurons.

Published Date: 
October 17, 2017

Wallace JL, Wienisch M, Murthy VN

New neurons appear only in a few regions of the adult mammalian brain and become integrated into existing circuits. Little is known about the functional development of individual neurons in vivo. We examined the functional life history of adult-born granule cells (abGCs) in the olfactory bulb using multiphoton imaging in awake and anesthetized mice. We found that abGCs can become responsive to odorants soon after they arrive in the olfactory bulb. Tracking identified abGCs over weeks revealed that the robust and broadly tuned responses of most newly arrived abGCs gradually become more selective over a period of ∼3 weeks, but a small fraction achieves broader tuning with maturation. Enriching the olfactory environment of mice prolonged the period over which abGCs were strongly and broadly responsive to odorants. Our data offer direct support for rapid integration of adult-born neurons into existing circuits, followed by experience-dependent refinement of their functional connectivity.