Temporary anosmia in mice following nasal lavage with dilute detergent solution

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Chemical Senses


Olfactory sensory deprivation induces anosmia and reduces tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine levels in the olfactory bulb. The behavioral consequences specific to the loss of olfactory bulb dopamine are difficult to determine because sensory deprivation protocols are either confounded by side effects or leave the animal anosmic. A new method to both induce sensory deprivation and to measure the behavioral and circuit consequences is needed. We developed a novel, recoverable anosmia protocol using nasal lavage with a dilute detergent solution. Detergent treatment did not damage the olfactory epithelium as measured by scanning electron microscopy, alcian blue histology, and acetylated tubulin immunohistochemistry. One treatment-induced anosmia that lasted 24 to 48 h. Three treatments over 5 days reduced olfactory bulb tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine levels indicating that anosmia persists between treatments. Importantly, even with multiple treatments, olfactory ability recovered within 48 h. This is the first report of a sensory deprivation protocol that induces recoverable anosmia and can be paired with biochemical, histological, and behavioral investigations of olfaction.


T. G. Mast is a faculty member in EMU's Department of Biology.

*K. Zuk, A. Rinke, K. Quasem, B. Savard, C. Brobbey, J. Reiss, and M. Dryden are EMU students.

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