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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2001 Apr;58(4):538-45.

Neuronal plasticity and regeneration in the olfactory system of mammals: morphological and functional recovery following olfactory bulb deafferentation.

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Laboratoire de Neurosciences et Systèmes sensoriels, Université Claude Bernard/Lyon 1, Villeurbanne, France.


The mammalian olfactory system has the unique property in the permanent turnover of the olfactory sensory neurons under normal conditions and following injury. This implies that the topographical map of the epithelium-to-bulb connections generated during ontogenesis has to be maintained despite neuron renewal in order to insure olfactory information processing. One way to investigate this issue has been to disrupt the peripheral connections and analyze how neural connections may be reestablished as well as how animals may perform in olfactory-mediated tasks. This review surveys the main data pertaining to both morphological and functional recoveries taking place in the peripheral olfactory system following olfactory bulb deafferentation. Conclusions from these studies are enlightened by recent data from molecular biology.

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