Experimental Demyelination of the Lateral Olfactory Tract and Anterior Commissure

Lindsay Collins, Peter Brunjes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Demyelination significantly affects brain function. Several experimental methods, each inducing varying levels of myelin and neuronal damage, have been developed to understand the process of myelin loss and to find new therapies to promote remyelination. The present work investigates the effect of one such method, lysolecithin administration, on the white matter tracts in the olfactory system. The olfactory forebrain contains two distinct tracts with differing developmental histories, axonal composition, and function: the lateral olfactory tract (LOT), which carries ipsilateral olfactory information from the olfactory bulb to olfactory cortex, and the anterior commissure (AC), which interconnects olfactory regions across hemispheres. The effects of lysolecithin injections were assessed in two ways: (1) the expression of myelin basic protein, a component of compacted myelin sheaths, was quantified using immunohistochemistry and (2) electron microscopy was used to obtain measurements of myelin thickness of individual axons as well as qualitative descriptions of the extent of damage to myelin and surrounding tissue. Data were collected at 7, 14, 21, and 30 days post-injection (dpi). While both the LOT and AC exhibited significant demyelination at 7 dpi and had returned to control levels by 30 dpi, the process differed between the two tracts. Remyelination occurred more rapidly in the LOT: substantial recovery was observed in the LOT by 14 dpi, but not in the AC until 21 dpi. The findings indicate that (a) the LOT and AC are indeed suitable tracts for studying lysolecithin-induced de- and remyelination and (b) experimental demyelination proceeds differently between the two tracts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
StatePublished - May 10 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • anterior commissure
  • demyelination
  • lysolecithin
  • myelin
  • olfactory tract


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