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Learn Mem. 2007 Dec 17;14(12):816-20. Print 2007 Dec.

Differential regional expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor following olfactory fear learning.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Yerkes Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30329, USA.


We examined brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression across the olfactory system following fear conditioning. Mice received 10 pairings of odor with footshock or equivalent unpaired odors and shocks. We found increased BDNF mRNA in animals receiving paired footshocks in the multiple regions examined including the posterior piriform cortex (PPC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA). This was in contrast to the unpaired and odor-alone treatments, where BDNF mRNA was increased in the olfactory bulb (OB) and anterior piriform cortex (APC) only, but not the higher olfactory areas. We propose that odor exposure increases expression of BDNF in the OB and APC while the PPC and BLA increase BDNF mRNA only when associative learning occurs.

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