1. Neuroscience
Download icon

Feedback inhibition and its control in an insect olfactory circuit

  1. Subhasis Ray
  2. Zane N Aldworth
  3. Mark A Stopfer  Is a corresponding author
  1. NIH/NICHD, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 2
  • Views 1,454
  • Annotations
Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e53281 doi: 10.7554/eLife.53281


Inhibitory neurons play critical roles in regulating and shaping olfactory responses in vertebrates and invertebrates. In insects, these roles are performed by relatively few neurons, which can be interrogated efficiently, revealing fundamental principles of olfactory coding. Here, with electrophysiological recordings from the locust and a large-scale biophysical model, we analyzed the properties and functions of GGN, a unique giant GABAergic neuron that plays a central role in structuring olfactory codes in the locust mushroom body. Our simulations suggest that depolarization of GGN at its input branch can globally inhibit KCs several hundred microns away. Our in vivo recordings show that GGN responds to odors with complex temporal patterns of depolarization and hyperpolarization that can vary with odors and across animals, leading our model to predict the existence of a yet-undiscovered olfactory pathway. Our analysis reveals basic new features of GGN and the olfactory network surrounding it.

Data availability

Traced neuronal morphology have been deposited on neuromorpho.org and they are currently being processed by the repository. Identical morphology data along with the computational models and simulation scripts are available on GitHub (https://github.com/subhacom/mbnet). Model source code curated in Model DB is available under the accession number 262670.

The following data sets were generated

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Subhasis Ray

    Section on Sensory Coding and Neural Ensembles, NIH/NICHD, Bethesda, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-2566-7146
  2. Zane N Aldworth

    Section on Sensory Coding and Neural Ensembles, NIH/NICHD, Bethesda, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Mark A Stopfer

    Section on Sensory Coding and Neural Ensembles, NIH/NICHD, Bethesda, United States
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-9200-1884


NIH-NICHD (Intramural grant)

  • Subhasis Ray
  • Zane N Aldworth
  • Mark A Stopfer

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Kristin Scott, University of California, Berkeley, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: November 3, 2019
  2. Accepted: March 9, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: March 12, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: April 9, 2020 (version 2)


This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.


  • 1,454
    Page views
  • 208
  • 2

Article citation count generated by polling the highest count across the following sources: PubMed Central, Crossref, Scopus.

Download links

A two-part list of links to download the article, or parts of the article, in various formats.

Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)

Download citations (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)

Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)

Further reading

    1. Neuroscience
    Katherine B LeClair et al.
    Research Article

    Social hierarchy formation is strongly evolutionarily conserved. Across species, rank within social hierarchy has large effects on health and behavior. To investigate the relationship between social rank and stress susceptibility, we exposed ranked male and female mice to social and non-social stressors and manipulated social hierarchy position. We found that rank predicts same sex social stress outcomes: dominance in males and females confers resilience while subordination confers susceptibility. Pre-existing rank does not predict non-social stress outcomes in females and weakly does so in males, but rank emerging under stress conditions reveals social interaction deficits in male and female subordinates. Both history of winning and rank of cage mates affect stress susceptibility in males: rising to the top rank through high mobility confers resilience and mice that lose dominance lose stress resilience, though gaining dominance over a subordinate animal does not confer resilience. Overall, we have demonstrated a relationship between social status and stress susceptibility, particularly when taking into account individual history of winning and the overall hierarchy landscape in male and female mice.

    1. Cell Biology
    2. Neuroscience
    Zhong-Jiao Jiang et al.
    Research Article

    TRPM7 contributes to a variety of physiological and pathological processes in many tissues and cells. With a widespread distribution in the nervous system, TRPM7 is involved in animal behaviors and neuronal death induced by ischemia. However, the physiological role of TRPM7 in CNS neuron remains unclear. Here, we identify endocytic defects in neuroendocrine cells and neurons from TRPM7 knockout (KO) mice, indicating a role of TRPM7 in synaptic vesicle endocytosis. Our experiments further pinpoint the importance of TRPM7 as an ion channel in synaptic vesicle endocytosis. Ca2+ imaging detects a defect in presynaptic Ca2+ dynamics in TRPM7 KO neuron, suggesting an importance of Ca2+ influx via TRPM7 in synaptic vesicle endocytosis. Moreover, the short-term depression is enhanced in both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission from TRPM7 KO mice. Taken together, our data suggests that Ca2+ influx via TRPM7 may be critical for short-term plasticity of synaptic strength by regulating synaptic vesicle endocytosis in neurons.