Mice with a "monoclonal nose": perturbations in an olfactory map impair odor discrimination.
We have altered the neural representation of odors in the brain by generating a mouse with a "monoclonal nose" in which greater than 95% of the sensory neurons express a single odorant receptor, M71. As a consequence, the frequency of sensory neurons expressing endogenous receptor genes is reduced 20-fold. We observe that these mice can smell, but odor discrimination and performance in associative olfactory learning tasks are impaired. However, these mice cannot detect the M71 ligand acetophenone despite the observation that virtually all sensory neurons and glomeruli are activated by this odor. The M71 transgenic mice readily detect other odors in the presence of acetophenone. These observations have implications for how receptor activation in the periphery is represented in the brain and how these representations encode odors.
Fleischmann, A; Shykind, BM; Sosulski, DL; Franks, KM; Glinka, ME; Mei, DF; Sun, Y; Kirkland, J; Mendelsohn, M; Albers, MW; Axel, R
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