Role of Adult-Born Versus Preexisting Neurons Born at P0 in Olfactory Perception in a Complex Olfactory Environment in Mice


Olfactory perceptual learning is defined as an improvement in the discrimination of perceptually close odorants after passive exposure to these odorants. In mice, simple olfactory perceptual learning involving the discrimination of two odorants depends on an increased number of adult-born neurons in the olfactory bulb, which refines the bulbar output. However, the olfactory environment is complex, raising the question of the adjustment of the bulbar network to multiple discrimination challenges. Perceptual learning of 1 to 6 pairs of similar odorants led to discrimination of all learned odor pairs. Increasing complexity did not increase adult-born neuron survival but enhanced the number of adult-born neurons responding to learned odorants and their spine density. Moreover, only complex learning induced morphological changes in neurons of the granule cell layer born during the first day of life (P0). Selective optogenetic inactivation of either population confirmed functional involvement of adult-born neurons regardless of the enrichment complexity, while preexisting neurons were required for complex discrimination only.


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