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Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2012 Mar-Apr;26(2):e81-4. doi: 10.2500/ajra.2012.26.3719.

Effects of statins on the recovery of olfactory function in a 3-methylindole-induced anosmia mouse model.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.



Despite the importance of olfactory function, no effective medications have been identified to treat olfactory disorders. This study was performed to evaluate the functional recovery of olfaction damaged by 3-methylindole (3MI) in a mouse model with hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins).


In a randomized placebo-controlled trial, 24 healthy female BALB/c mice (aged 9-10 weeks and weighing 18-20 g each) were randomly allocated to statin-treated or control groups. Olfactory loss was induced by i.p. injections of 3MI. Atorvastatin (10 mg/kg) or normal saline was then administered per os with a gastric tube for 3 weeks. The effects of treatment were evaluated by food-finding tests and Western blot analysis.


Both groups showed complete losses of olfactory function 1 week after 3MI injection. Three weeks after 3MI injection, 9 of the 12 mice in the statin-treated group (75%) passed a food-finding test, in which they were able to find the food within 3 minutes, at least two times out of three trials. However, only two mice in the control group (16.6%) passed the food-finding test, and this difference was statistically significant (p = 0.004; chi-square test). The expression level of the olfactory marker protein was also elevated in the statin-treated group (p = 0.030; Wilcoxon rank sum test).


Statins are associated with recovery of olfaction after 3MI injection in a mouse model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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