A technique for characterizing the time course of odor adaptation in mice.
Although numerous studies have analyzed the temporal characteristics underlying olfactory adaptation at the level of the olfactory receptor neuron, to date, there have been no comparable behavioral measures in an animal model. In this study, odor adaptation was estimated in a group of mice employing a psychophysical technique recently developed for use in humans. The premise of this technique is that extended presentation of an odorant will produce odor adaptation, decreasing the sensitivity of the receptors and increasing thresholds for a brief, simultaneous target odorant presented at different time points on the adaptation contour; adaptation is estimated as the increase in threshold for a target odorant presented simultaneously with an adapting odorant, across varying adapting-to-target odorant onset delays. Previous research from our laboratory suggests that this method provides a reliable estimate of the onset time course of rapid adaptation in human subjects. Consistent with physiological and behavioral data from human subjects, the present findings demonstrate that measurable olfactory adaptive effects can be observed for odorant exposures as brief as 50-100ms, with asymptotic levels evident 400-600ms following adapting odorant onset. When compared with the adaptation contour in humans using the same odorant and stimulus paradigm, some differences in the onset characteristics are evident and may be related to sniffing behavior and to relative differences in thresholds. These data show that this psychophysical paradigm can be adapted for use in animal models, where experimental and genetic manipulations can be used to characterize the different mechanisms underlying odor adaptation.
Published In/Presented At
Yoder, W. M., Munizza, O., Lyman, M., & Smith, D. W. (2014). A technique for characterizing the time course of odor adaptation in mice. Chemical senses, 39(7), 631–640. https://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bju036
Medical Education | Medicine and Health Sciences
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