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J Neurosci. 2004 Oct 13;24(41):9195-200.

Olfaction in olfactory bulbectomized rats.

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Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33549, USA.


Experimental rats had their right olfactory bulb removed on postnatal day 2 (P2) and their left olfactory bulb removed on P90. Control rats had one or both olfactory bulbs removed on P90. Before and after their adult-stage surgery, rats were trained using olfactometry and operant conditioning to detect and discriminate odors. Anterograde transport of horseradish peroxidase applied to the olfactory epithelium revealed numerous axons of olfactory sensory neurons in the right hemisphere of 27 experimental rats. These axons terminated in glomerular-like clusters within the frontal neocortex (n = 5) or anterior olfactory nucleus with some axons extending into the subventricular epithelium (n = 22). Seventeen of the experimental rats were able to detect a variety of odors and to discriminate between odors. Performance accuracy was related to the location and density of these anomalous inputs; experimental rats with inputs confined to frontal neocortex and those lacking any inputs to the forebrain were anosmic, as were adult-operated bilaterally bulbectomized rats. Our results provide strong support for the contention that, in the absence of the olfactory bulbs, olfactory connections to novel forebrain sites can support both odor detection and odor discrimination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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