Molecular characterization of projection neuron subtypes in the mouse olfactory bulb

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Projection neurons (PNs) in the mammalian olfactory bulb (OB) receive input from the nose and project to diverse cortical and subcortical areas. Morphological and physiological studies have highlighted functional heterogeneity, yet no molecular markers have been described that delineate PN subtypes. Here, we used viral injections into olfactory cortex and fluorescent nucleus sorting to enrich PNs for high-throughput single nucleus and bulk RNA deep sequencing. Transcriptome analysis and RNA in situ hybridization identified distinct mitral and tufted cell populations with characteristic transcription factor network topology, cell adhesion and excitability-related gene expression. Finally, we describe a new computational approach for integrating bulk and snRNA-seq data, and provide evidence that different mitral cell populations preferentially project to different target regions. Together, we have identified potential molecular and gene regulatory mechanisms underlying PN diversity and provide new molecular entry points into studying the diverse functional roles of mitral and tufted cell subtypes.

Journal details

Journal eLife
Volume 10
Pages e65445
Available online
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