The olfactory memory acquired during the early postnatal period is known to be maintained for a long period, however, its neural mechanism remains to be clarified. In the present study, we examined the effect of olfactory conditioning during the early postnatal period on neurogenesis in the olfactory bulb of rats. Using the bromodeoxyuridine-pulse chase method, we found that the olfactory conditioning, which was a paired presentation of citral odor (conditioned stimulus) and foot shock (unconditioned stimulus) in rat pups on postnatal day 11, stimulated the proliferation of neural stem/progenitor cells in the anterior subventricular zone (aSVZ), but not in the olfactory bulb, at 24 h after the conditioning. However, the number of newborn cells in the olfactory bulb was increased at 2 weeks, but not 8 weeks, after such conditioning. Neither the exposure of a citral odor alone nor foot shock alone affected the proliferation of neural stem/progenitor cells in the aSVZ at 24 h after and the number of newborn cells in the olfactory bulb at 2 weeks after. The majority of newborn cells in the olfactory bulb of either the conditioned rats or the unconditioned rats expressed the neural marker NeuN, thus indicating that the olfactory conditioning stimulated neurogenesis in the olfactory bulb. These results suggest that olfactory conditioning during the early postnatal period temporally stimulates neurogenesis in the olfactory bulb of rats.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2008 Jan 2|
- neural stem cells
- olfactory memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas