Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Christine Byrd-Jacobs

Second Advisor

Wendy Beane


Zebrafish, Danio rerio, provide a useful model to study neural regeneration of the olfactory system due to its high plasticity. Our lab investigates effects of deafferentation on maintenance of the olfactory bulb in adult zebrafish. In the current study, we used c-Fos, an early neuronal activity marker, to determine the immediate cellular effects that occur within the olfactory bulb following chemical ablation of the olfactory epithelium with detergent. As an immediate early gene product, c-Fos occurs rapidly in the nucleus of activated cells. Using immunohistochemistry, c-Fos-positive cell counts were completed and compared between the left and right olfactory bulbs of control and treated fish. At 3 and 5 days following a single detergent treatment there was a significant bilateral decrease in the number of cells expressing the c-Fos marker compared to the unlesioned control bulb. Analysis of chronic deafferentation, consisting of a group of fish receiving 3 weeks of detergent treatment and a group that received the detergent treatment followed by a 3-week recovery period, showed no significant difference between the damaged and internal control bulbs in either group. Thus, chemical ablation of the olfactory epithelium results in short-term reduction in cellular activity, as indicated by anti-c-Fos labeling, but long-term detergent treatment does not maintain this effect.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted