EMAIL THIS PAGE TO A FRIEND

Behavioural brain research

Chronic variable stress exposure in male Wistar rats affects the first step of olfactory detection.


PMID 26003942

Abstract

For most animal species, olfaction plays a paramount role in their perception of the environment. Odours are initially detected in neurons located in the olfactory mucosa. This tissue is regulated by several physiological signals and can be altered in pathology. A number of clinical studies suggest an association between depressive disorders and olfactory sensory loss. In rodents, depressive-like states can be observed in models of chronic stress. We tested the hypothesis that olfactory function might be altered in a rat model of depression, induced by chronic variable stress (CVS). While CVS rats exhibited several symptoms consistent with chronic stress exposure and depressive-like states (increased sucrose intake in sucrose preference test, increased immobility in forced swim test, hyperlocomotion), their odorant responses recorded at the olfactory mucosa level by electro-olfactogram were decreased. In addition we observed increased apoptosis markers in the olfactory mucosa using Western Blot. Our data are consistent with reduced olfactory capacities in a laboratory rat model of chronic stress and depression, in agreement with human clinical data; this warrants further mechanistic studies. Furthermore, this works raises the possibility that altered olfactory function might be a confounding factor in the behavioural testing of chronically stressed or depressed rats.