Chronic perinatal odour exposure with heptaldehyde affects odour sensitivity and olfactory system homeostasis in preweaning mice


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Abstract

HighlightsPerinatal odour exposure alters the number of glomeruli of mice pups in an age-dependent manner.Perinatal odour exposure reduces the electrophysiological response to odorant, but improves olfactory performance.Odorant-guided preferences might be modulated by early odour exposure.Exposure to specific odorants in the womb during pregnancy or in the milk during early nursing is known to impact morpho-functional development of the olfactory circuitry of pups. This can be associated with a modification in olfactory sensitivity and behavioural olfactory-based preferences to the perinatally encountered odorants measured at birth, weaning or adult stage. Effects depend on a multitude of factors, such as odorant type, concentration, administration mode and frequency, as well as timing and mice strain. Here, we examined the effect of perinatal exposure to heptaldehyde on the neuro-anatomical development of the olfactory receptor Olfr2 circuitry, olfactory sensitivity and odour preferences of preweaning pups using mI7-IRES-tau-green fluorescent protein mice. We found that perinatal odour exposure through the feed of the dam reduces the response to heptaldehyde and modulates transcript levels of neuronal transduction proteins in the olfactory epithelium of the pups. Furthermore, the number of I7 glomeruli related to Olfr2-expressing OSN is altered in a way similar to that seen with restricted post-natal exposure, in an age-dependent way. These variations are associated with a modification of olfactory behaviours associated with early post-natal odour preferences at weaning.

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