Enhanced odor discrimination learning in aged Bax-KO mice

Woon Ryoung Kim, Woong Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Throughout life, new neurons are continuously generated from subventricular zone and added to the olfactory bulb (OB). Because a subset of mature OB neurons undergoes spontaneous cell death, adult OB neurogenesis serves for the replacement of this cell loss. Spontaneous cell turnover should alter the neuronal circuits, but the significance of cell turnover on olfactory learning is yet poorly understood. In this study, we explored the olfactory learning behaviors of model mice showing (1) absence of cell death and cell addition (aged Bax-KO mice); (2) absence of cell death but presence of cell addition (young Bax-KO mice); or (3) presence cell death but absence of cell addition (surgical lesion of rostral migratory stream of neuroblasts). Interestingly, aged Bax-KO mice with no cell replacement acquired the ability to discriminate odor differences faster than WT littermates, whereas other model mice exhibited virtually normal learning ability. These results suggest that the cell replacement is necessary for the normal olfactory learning behavior, and the chronic perturbation of cell replacement may result in the imbalance of neural circuits driving unexpected enhancement of olfactory learning ability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-200
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug 26

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology : 20120005815 (WS), 20120006433 (WS), C6049933 (WS) and 2012014385 (WRK).


  • Adult neurogenesis
  • Cell death
  • Odor discrimination learning
  • Olfactory bulb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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