Author(s): Cattarelli M, Cattarelli M
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Abstract The role of the olfactory inputs transmitted by the medial olfactory pathways --i.e. anterior limb of the anterior commissure and medial forebrain bundle-was studied in rats submitted either to a bilateral lesion of the anterior commissure (bAC group) or to a bilateral transection of the lateral olfactory tract followed by an anterior commissure bilateral lesion (bCL group). In the bCL group, the characteristic emotional reactions usually observed in sham-operated rats to biologically meaningful odorants (odor of a predator or of conspecifics) were no longer observed; in this group, the modulation of mitral cell electrical responses according to the biological meaning of the stimuli disappeared and no habituation was noted when the stimulations were repeated: few responses appeared at random; lastly, all the stimuli tested, the odor of conspecifics excepted, did not exert an awaking influence on the sleeping rats (slow wave sleep). On the contrary, emotional reactions were always observed in the bAC group, a slight increase of reactivity to the odorants was even noted. In this group of animals, the anterior commissure bilateral lesion induced a large increase of the bulbar responses to all the odorants; the habituation of the electrical responses disappeared, a large percentage of responses being always noted even for the tenth series of stimulation; these results point out the great inhibitory influence that the anterior commissure exerts on the olfactory bulb activity. In these bAC rats almost usual awaking influences were noted, however, the odor of conspecifics became as efficient as fox odor to awake the animals. Results are discussed in relation to the functional role of the medial and lateral olfactory pathways, the integrity of both the pathways being necessary for an accurate olfactory process.
This article was published in Behav Brain Res
and referenced in Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology