Send to

Choose Destination
Synapse. 1991 May;8(1):61-70.

Olfactory deprivation increases dopamine D2 receptor density in the rat olfactory bulb.

Author information

Department of Psychobiology, University of California, Irvine 92717.


Unilateral olfactory deprivation during postnatal development results in significant anatomical and neurochemical changes in the deprived olfactory bulb. Perhaps the most dramatic neurochemical change is the loss of dopaminergic expression by neurons of the glomerular region. We describe here the effects of early olfactory deprivation on other elements of the bulb dopaminergic system, namely the dopamine receptors of the olfactory bulb. Rat pups had a single naris occluded on postnatal day 2 (PN2). On PN20 or PN60, animals were sacrificed and the bulbs were examined for catecholamine levels or D2 and D1 dopamine receptor binding. Receptor densities were quantified by in vitro autoradiography using the tritiated antagonists spiperone (D2) and SCH23390 (D1). Dopamine uptake sites were similarly examined using tritiated mazindol. No significant specific labeling of D1 or mazindol sites was observed in the olfactory bulbs of control or experimental animals at either age. Normal animals displayed prominent labeling of D2 sites in the glomerular and nerve layers. After 60 days of deprivation, deprived bulbs exhibited an average increase in D2 receptor density of 32%. As determined by Scatchard analysis, the mean values for Kd and Bmax were 0.134 nM and 293 fmol/mg protein in normal bulbs, and 0.136 nM and 403 fmol/mg protein in deprived bulbs. The results suggest that, as in the neostriatum, dopamine depletion in the olfactory bulb leads to an upregulation of D2 receptor sites. This change may represent an attempt by the system to adapt neurochemically to reduced dopaminergic activity and thereby maintain bulb function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center