Volatile solvents exposure can result in various behavioral impairments that have been partly associated to altered adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Despite recent evidence supporting this association, few studies have been devoted to examine the impact on olfactory functioning and olfactory bulb (OB) neurogenesis, although olfactory system is directly in contact with volatile molecules. Thus, this study was designed to evaluate in adult mice the potential modifications of the olfactory functioning after acute (1 day), subchronic (6 weeks) and chronic (12 weeks) exposure to thinner vapor at both behavioral and cellular levels. Firstly, behavioral evaluations showed that chronic thinner exposure impacts on odor detection ability of treated mice but does not affect mice ability to efficiently discriminate between two different odors. Moreover, chronic thinner exposure produces impairment in the olfactory-mediated associative memory. Secondly, analysis of the effects of thinner exposure in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle and in the OB revealed that thinner treatments do not induce apoptosis nor glial activation. Thirdly, immunohistochemical quantification of different markers of adult olfactory neurogenesis showed that inhalant treatments do not change the number of proliferating progenitors in the SVZ and the rostral migratory stream (RMS), as well as the number of newborn cells reaching and integrating in the OB circuitry. Altogether, our data highlight that the impaired olfactory performances in chronically-exposed mice are not associated to an alteration of adult neurogenesis in the SVZ-OB system.
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