Interneurons in the olfactory bulb (OB) play essential roles in the processing of olfactory information. They are classified into several subpopulations by the expression of different neurochemical markers. Here we focused on a transcription factor Pax6, and examined its expression and function in distinct subtypes of OB interneurons. We identified Pax6 expression in specific subtypes of interneurons in the external plexiform layer (EPL). The number of these interneuron subtypes was dramatically decreased in Pax6 heterozygous mutant mice. These results indicate that Pax6 is required for differentiation and/or maintenance of EPL interneurons in the adult mouse OB.
- External plexiform layer
- Olfactory bulb