Roles of olfactory system dysfunction in depression

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Oct 3:54:26-30. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2014.05.013. Epub 2014 May 29.


The olfactory system is involved in sensory functions, emotional regulation and memory formation. Olfactory bulbectomy in rat has been employed as an animal model of depression for antidepressant discovery studies for many years. Olfaction is impaired in animals suffering from chronic stress, and patients with clinical depression were reported to have decreased olfactory function. It is believed that the neurobiological bases of depression might include dysfunction in the olfactory system. Further, brain stimulation, including nasal based drug delivery could provide novel therapies for management of depression.

Keywords: Antidepressant; Depression; Limbic system; Neurogenesis; Olfactory bulbectomy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Depressive Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Neurogenesis / physiology
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiopathology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / surgery
  • Smell / physiology*