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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2009 Feb;34(3):786-95. doi: 10.1038/npp.2008.191. Epub 2008 Oct 22.

Novelty determines the effects of olfactory enrichment on memory and neurogenesis through noradrenergic mechanisms.

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Université de Lyon, Lyon F-69007, Université Lyon 1, F-69007, Lyon, France.


Commonly used experimental paradigms of environmental enrichment combine increased social interactions and sensory inputs and renewal of the objects present in the environment. However, the specific contribution of novelty to the effects of enrichment is unclear. Here, we show that repeated daily exposure to single novel odorants and not to an enriched but stable olfactory environment improves short-term olfactory memory and neurogenesis in the mouse olfactory bulb. In addition, these positive effects are mediated by noradrenalin as they are blocked by a noradrenergic receptor antagonist. These data suggest that novelty recognition and noradrenergic mechanisms are crucial in mediating neural plasticity induced by olfactory enrichment.

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