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Publication Detail
Odor blocking of stress hormone responses
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Lee EJ, Saraiva LR, Hanchate NK, Ye X, Asher G, Ho J, Buck LB
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  • Journal:
    Scientific Reports
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  • Keywords:
    Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, CIRCUIT, INNATE
  • Notes:
    Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Scents have been employed for millennia to allay stress, but whether or how they might do so is largely unknown. Fear and stress induce increases in blood stress hormones controlled by hypothalamic corticotropin releasing hormone neurons (CRHNs). Here, we report that two common odorants block mouse stress hormone responses to three potent stressors: physical restraint, predator odor, and male-male social confrontation. One odorant inhibits restraint and predator odor activation of excitatory neurons upstream of CRHNs in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNSTa). In addition, both activate inhibitory neurons upstream of CRHNs in the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMH) and silencing of VMH inhibitory neurons hinders odor blocking of stress. Together, these findings indicate that odor blocking can occur via two mechanisms: (1) Inhibition of excitatory neurons that transmit stress signals to CRHNs and (2) activation of inhibitory neurons that act directly or indirectly to inhibit stressor activation of CRHNs.
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