Assessment of social behavior and chemosensory cue detection in an animal model of neurodegeneration

Methods Cell Biol. 2024:185:137-150. doi: 10.1016/bs.mcb.2024.02.008. Epub 2024 Mar 15.


Numerous studies have shown that aging in humans leads to a decline in olfactory function, resulting in deficits in acuity, detection threshold, discrimination, and olfactory-associated memories. Furthermore, impaired olfaction has been identified as a potential indicator for the onset of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Studies conducted on mouse models of AD have largely mirrored the findings in humans, thus providing a valuable system to investigate the cellular and circuit adaptations of the olfactory system during natural and pathological aging. However, the majority of previous research has focused on assessing the detection of neutral or synthetic odors, with little attention given to the impact of aging and neurodegeneration on the recognition of social cues-a critical feature for the survival of mammalian species. Therefore, in this study, we present a battery of olfactory tests that use conspecific urine samples to examine the changes in social odor recognition in a mouse model of neurodegeneration.

Keywords: Aging; Alzheimer's disease; Olfactory system; Social behavior; Social cues; Vomeronasal system.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease*
  • Animals
  • Cues
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Mammals
  • Mice
  • Olfaction Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Smell
  • Social Behavior