Noradrenergic modulatoins of odor learning and odor representation in the rat

Shakhawat, Amin Md. (2016) Noradrenergic modulatoins of odor learning and odor representation in the rat. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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How experience alters neuronal ensemble dynamics and how locus coeruleus-mediated norepinephrine release facilitates memory formation in the brain are the topics of this thesis. Here we employed a visualization technique, cellular compartment analysis of temporal activity by fluorescence in situ hybridization (catFISH), to assess activation patterns of neuronal ensembles in the olfactory bulb (OB) and anterior piriform cortex (aPC) to repeated odor inputs. Two associative learning models were used, early odor preference learning in rat pups and adult rat go-no-go odor discrimination learning. With catFISH of an immediate early gene, Arc, we showed that odor representation in the OB and aPC was sparse (~5-10%) and widely distributed. Odor associative learning enhanced the stability of the rewarded odor representation in the OB and aPC. The stable component, indexed by the overlap between the two ensembles activated by the rewarded odor at two time points, increased from ~25% to ~50% (p = 0.004-1.43E⁻4; Chapter 3 and 4). Adult odor discrimination learning promoted pattern separation between rewarded and unrewarded odor representations in the aPC. The overlap between rewarded and unrewarded odor representations reduced from ~25% to ~14% (p = 2.28E⁻⁵). However, learning an odor mixture as a rewarded odor increased the overlap of the component odor representations in the aPC from ~23% to ~44% (p = 0.010; Chapter 4). Blocking both α- and β-adrenoreceptors in the aPC prevented highly similar odor discrimination learning in adult rats, and reduced OB mitral and granule ensemble stability to the rewarded odor. Similar treatment in the OB only slowed odor discrimination learning. However, OB adrenoceptor blockade disrupted pattern separation and ensemble stability in the aPC when the rats demonstrated deficiency in discrimination (Chapter 5). In another project, the role of α₂-adrenoreceptors in the OB during early odor preference learning was studied. OB α2-adrenoceptor activation was necessary for odor learning in rat pups. α₂-adrenoceptor activation was additive with β-adrenoceptor mediated signalling to promote learning (Chapter 2). Together, these experiments suggest that odor representations are highly adaptive at the early stages of odor processing. The OB and aPC work in concert to support odor learning and top-down adrenergic input exerts a powerful modulation on both learning and odor representation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 11872
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 158-204).
Keywords: Neuroscience-Learning and Memory, Olfactory bulb and Piriform cortex, Pattern Separation and Completion, Norepinephrine, Arc catFISH
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: May 2016
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Neural networks (Neurobiology); Rats--Psychology; Smell; Odors--Psychological aspects
Medical Subject Heading: Neural Pathways; Rats; Smell; Odors; Psychological Phenomena and Processes

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