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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Morphometric modifications associated with early sensory experience in the rat olfactory bulb: II. Stereological study of the population of olfactory glomeruli.

The present study explores the local variations of size and number of olfactory glomeruli induced by the exposure of young rats to long-term stimulation with a single odor. Three groups of 5 rats were used that were either: (1) stimulated with ethyl acetoacetate from birth to 1 month of age, (2) unilaterally deprived following early occlusion of one nare, or (3) normal animals of the same age. Areas and coordinates of all glomerular profiles were measured in 14 coronal sections uniformly distributed along the rostrocaudal axis of the olfactory bulb. A distribution-free stereological method was applied to compute the size and number of glomeruli either along the bulbar rostrocaudal extent or in the bulbar coronal plane. Following complete sensory deprivation or long-term stimulation with ethyl acetoacetate, the mean diameter of glomeruli was significantly reduced everywhere, except in the ventrolateral and ventromedial regions of the posterior olfactory bulb in rats reared with a single odor. In both of these areas, the number of glomeruli was either significantly increased following long duration exposure or significantly reduced following unilateral deprivation. Thus these results show that selective modifications of the olfactory environment during postnatal maturation induce morphometric variations in specific areas of the glomerular layer. These data are discussed with respect to the concept of the topographical coding of odor quality at the level of the glomeruli and plasticity of the olfactory system during postnatal development.[1]


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