Induction of olfactory receptor sensitivity in mice

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  14 May 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5110, pp. 998-1000
DOI: 10.1126/science.8493539


Repeated exposure to olfactory ligands (odorants) increased peripheral olfactory sensitivity in mice. For two unrelated ligands, androstenone and isovaleric acid, induction of olfactory sensitivity was odorant-specific and occurred only in inbred strains that initially had low sensitivity to the exposure odorant. These data demonstrate stimulus-induced plasticity in a sensory receptor cell, suggesting a form of stimulus-controlled gene expression. Induction with two unrelated odorants implies that olfactory induction is a general phenomenon that may occur in a large fraction of the human population.

Stay Connected to Science