Skip to main content
DSP-4 treatment influences olfactory preferences of developing rats
Brain Research
  • Hewlet McFarlane, Kenyon College
  • C. A. Cornwell
  • J. W. Chang
  • et al.
Document Type
Publication Date
Control cagemates of rats treated with the norepinephrine (NE) neurotoxin DSP-4, showed normal olfactory learning as infants, but abnormal aversion to home-cage odors as juveniles. Neither age nor social housing conditions influenced the odor preferences of DSP-4-treated rats: they showed tolerance or attraction to familiar odors at both developmental stages. Controls, but not DSP-4-treated juveniles, housed in mixed treatment groups, showed elevated concentrations of a serotonin metabolite and reduced NE concentrations in the hippocampus, suggesting that this social situation was particularly stressful for the controls. DSP-4-treated juveniles, but not infants, produced odors that were discriminable from controls'. Thus, conflicting olfactory signals in the home-cages of mixed juvenile groups may have led to the development of stress in controls. NE depletion appeared to lessen social stress effects in their DSP-4-treated cagemates. These findings support other data suggesting that NE modulates the biobehavioral effects of the social environment.
Citation Information
Hewlet McFarlane, C. A. Cornwell, J. W. Chang and et al.. "DSP-4 treatment influences olfactory preferences of developing rats" Brain Research Vol. 711 Iss. 1-2 (1996) p. 26 - 33
Available at: