DOI: 10.1002/brb3.3354 ISSN: 2162-3279

A lack of drebrin causes olfactory impairment

Yuki Kajita, Nobuhiko Kojima, Tomoaki Shirao
  • Behavioral Neuroscience



Olfactory deficit often occurs during the prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although olfactory deficit is a useful measure for screening AD‐related amnestic disorder, little is known about the cause of this deficit. Human and animal studies indicate that loss of the actin binding protein, drebrin, is closely related to cognitive dysfunction in AD. We hypothesized that the olfactory deficit in AD is caused by the loss of drebrin from the spine.


To verify this hypothesis, we performed the buried food test in two types of drebrin knockout mice, such as drebrin‐double (E and A) knockout (DXKO) mice, and drebrin A‐specific knockout (DAKO) mice.


The DXKO mice spent a significantly longer time to find food compared with the wild‐type (WT) littermates. In contrast, the DAKO mice, in which drebrin E rather than drebrin A is expressed in the postsynaptic sites of mature neurons, spent an equivalent time trying to find food compared to that of the WT. The DXKO mice showed comparable food motivation and sensory functions other than olfaction, including visual and auditory functions.


These results indicate that drebrin is necessary for normal olfactory function. Further study is needed to determine whether it is necessary for normal olfaction to express drebrin E during the developmental stage or to have drebrin (whether E or A) present after maturation.

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