Induction of an olfactory memory by the activation of a metabotropic glutamate receptor

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Science  08 Jul 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5169, pp. 262-264
DOI: 10.1126/science.8023145


Female mice form an olfactory memory of male pheromones at mating; exposure to the pheromones of a strange male after that mating will block pregnancy. The formation of this memory is mediated by the accessory olfactory system, in which an increase in norepinephrine after mating reduces inhibitory transmission of gamma-aminobutyric acid from the granule cells to the mitral cells. This study shows that the activation of mGluR2, a metabotropic glutamate receptor that suppresses the gamma-aminobutyric acid inhibition of the mitral cells, permits the formation of a specific olfactory memory without the occurrence of mating by infusion of mGluR2 agonists into the female's accessory olfactory bulb. This memory faithfully reflects the memory formed at mating.

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