In this study, we have characterized slow and fast oscillations at several stages of olfactory processing under light and deep ketamine/xylazine anesthesia in the albino rat. While monitoring the animal's respiration, we also obtained field potentials from the olfactory bulb and piriform (olfactory) cortex and simultaneously recorded membrane potentials in piriform cortex pyramidal cells. Our results demonstrate that oscillations are generally found at higher frequencies under lighter and lower frequencies under deeper anesthesia. In previous studies of cerebral cortex, similar results in ketamine/xylazine anesthetized animals have been interpreted to correspond with the higher frequencies found during waking and lower frequencies found in the sleep state. Correlation and coherence analysis between data obtained in the bulb and cortex reveals a clear difference in coupling depending on the anesthetic state of the animal. Specifically, activity recorded in the whole system is highly correlated with respiration during deep anesthesia, whereas only the olfactory bulb, and not the cortex, is correlated with respiration during light anesthesia. These data suggest that global activity in the piriform cortex is actually more directly tied to peripheral slow respiratory input during slow wave than fast wave states and that the coupling between olfactory structures can be dynamically modulated by the level of anesthesia and therefore presumably by different brain states as well.
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