Olfactory abnormalities in Huntington's disease: Decreased plasticity in the primary olfactory cortex of R6/1 transgenic mice and reduced olfactory discrimination in patients

Stanley E. Lazic*, Anna O.G. Goodman, Helen E. Grote, Colin Blakemore, A. Jennifer Morton, Anthony J. Hannan, Anton van Dellen, Roger A. Barker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Reduced neuronal plasticity in the striatum, hippocampus, and neocortex is a common feature of transgenic mouse models of Huntington's disease (HD). Doublecortin (DCX) and polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) are associated with structural plasticity in the adult mammalian brain, are markers of newly formed neurons in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus, and are highly expressed in primary olfactory (piriform) cortex. Animal studies have demonstrated that a reduction in plasticity in the piriform cortex is associated with a selective impairment in odour discrimination. Therefore, the number of DCX and PSA-NCAM immunoreactive cells in the piriform cortex were quantified as measures of plasticity in early stage (fifteen week old) R6/1 transgenic HD mice. The transgenic mice had a large reduction in the number of DCX and PSA-NCAM immunoreactive cells in the piriform cortex, similar to that previously reported in the R6/2 mice. We also tested whether odour discrimination, as well as identification and detection, were impaired in HD patients and found that patients (at a similar disease stage as the mice) had an impairment in odour discrimination and identification, but not odour detection. These results suggest that olfactory impairments observed in HD patients may be the result of reduced plasticity in the primary olfactory cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-226
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Volume1151
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • DCX
  • Neurogenesis
  • Olfaction
  • Plasticity
  • Pyriform
  • R6/1
  • Stereology

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