DSP-4 treatment influences olfactory preferences of developing rats

Catherine A. Cornwell, Julia W. Chang, Barry Cole, Yuichi Fukada, Thomas Gianulli, Elizabeth A. Rathbone, Hewlet McFarlane, James L. McGaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 4 1996


  • DSP-4
  • Hippocampus
  • Monoamine
  • Odor preference
  • Olfactory bulb
  • Olfactory learning
  • Social stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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