Psychiatric or depressed patients show alterations in both olfactory projection areas and mucosa. In rodents, ablation of olfactory bulbs causes a depression-like syndrome, useful to test antidepressant agents. We studied in mice the behavioral symptoms and neuroanatomical correlates after mucosal damage or ablation of the olfactory bulb. Our results are based on a battery of tests exploiting anxious, aggressive, and depressive behavior, on morphological and immunohistochemical analysis. We found similar results in both sensory-damaged and bulbectomized animals, with a behavioral dissociation concerning different forms of aggression. These findings do not support a simple downregulation of social interactions in damaged mice. The most prominent modifications in the brains of sensory damaged and bulbectomized mice are detected in the subventricular zone (SVZ), the source area of neural stem cells, and in the content of cAMPdependent protein kinase within the amygdala, suggesting a central role of this structure in the functional modulation of behavior.
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