Functional MRI of the mouse olfactory system

Eric R. Muir, K. C. Biju, Linlin Cong, William E. Rogers, Enrique Torres Hernandez, Timothy Q. Duong, Robert A. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Although olfactory dysfunction is an early warning sign of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, and is commonly present in a range of other neurodegenerative disorders, the mechanisms for its pathogenesis are not yet clear. Since fMRI allows the mapping of spatial and temporal patterns of activity in multiple brain regions simultaneously, it serves as a powerful tool to study olfactory dysfunction in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases. Nonetheless, there have been no reports to date of mapping odor-induced activation patterns beyond the olfactory bulb to the extended networks of olfactory and limbic archicortex, likely due to the small size of the mouse brain. Therefore, using an 11.7 T magnet and a blood volume-weighted fMRI technique, we mapped the functional neuroanatomy of the mouse olfactory system. Consistent with reports on imaging of the much larger human brain, we mapped activity in regions of the olfactory bulb, as well as olfactory and limbic archicortex. By using two distinct odorants, we further demonstrated odorant-specific activation patterns. Our work thus provides a methodological framework for fMRI studies of olfactory dysfunction in mouse models of neurodegeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-61
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
StatePublished - Jun 21 2019


  • Odors
  • Olfaction
  • Olfactory bulb
  • Olfactory cortex
  • Pheromone
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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