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Use of ultrasonic vocalizations to assess olfactory detection in mouse pups treated with 3-methylindole.

Abstract : Altricial mammals use olfaction long before the olfactory bulb has reached its anatomically mature state. Indeed, while audition and vision are still not functional, the olfactory system of newborn animals can clearly process distinct odorant molecules. Although several previous studies have emphasized the important role that olfaction plays in early critical functions, it has been difficult to develop a sensitive and reliable test to precisely quantify olfactory ability in pups. One difficulty in determining early sensory capabilities is the rather limited behavioral repertory of neonates. The present study examines the use of ultrasonic vocalizations emitted by isolated rodent pups as a potential index of odor detection in newborn mice. As early as postnatal day 2, mice reliably decrease their emission of ultrasonic calls in response to odor exposure to the bedding of adult male mice but not in response to clean bedding odors or to non-social odorant molecules. A toxin known to damage the olfactory epithelium in adult, the 3-methylindole, impairs the ultrasonic call responses triggered by exposure to male bedding, thus confirming the efficiency of this olfactotoxin on mice pups. The administration of 3-methylindole severely reduced the life expectancy of the majority of subjects. This result is discussed according to the critical role of olfaction in nipple-seeking behavior in mouse pups.
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https://hal-pasteur.archives-ouvertes.fr/pasteur-00163093
Contributor : Yolande Meunier <>
Submitted on : Monday, July 16, 2007 - 4:49:47 PM
Last modification on : Monday, January 13, 2020 - 5:08:10 PM

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M. Lemasson, C. Delbé, G. Gheusi, J.-D. Vincent, P.-M. Lledo. Use of ultrasonic vocalizations to assess olfactory detection in mouse pups treated with 3-methylindole.. Behavioural Processes, Elsevier, 2005, 68 (1), pp.13-23. ⟨10.1016/j.beproc.2004.09.001⟩. ⟨pasteur-00163093⟩

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