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Modulation of olfactory learning in young rats through intrabulbar GABAB receptors

Authors


: Dr F. Okutani, as above.
E-mail: okutanif@med.kochi-ms.ac.jp

Abstract

After training with an odour paired with foot shock on postnatal day 11, rat pups show an aversion to the odour in testing on postnatal day 12. The mechanisms underlying this aversive olfactory learning involve disinhibition of mitral/tufted cells in the olfactory bulb by the somatosensory stimulation-induced activation of centrifugal noradrenergic fibres originating in the locus coeruleus. The activity of mitral/tufted cells is regulated through γ-aminobutyric acidA (GABAA) receptors in the external plexiform layer and GABAB receptors in the glomerular layer. We have previously presented that aversive olfactory learning in young rats is modulated through GABAA receptors in the olfactory bulb. In the present study we examined the consequence of manipulating GABAB receptors in the olfactory bulb during training. Baclofen, a GABAB receptor agonist when infused into the olfactory bulb during the pairing of an odour with foot shock, prevented aversive olfactory learning in a dose-dependent manner. Infusion of saclofen, a GABAB receptor antagonist, during training with a citral odour in the absence of foot shock produced aversive responses not only to the odour, but also to strange odours (benzaldehyde and vanillin) not previously presented. Such olfactory aversions were observed even if saclofen was infused without odour exposure. These results suggest that olfactory learning in young rats is modulated through GABAB receptors in the olfactory bulb.

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