Olfactory Dysfunction in CNS Neuroimmunological Disorders: a Review

Abstract

Olfactory dysfunction is deeply associated with quality of human life in the aging population. Olfactory dysfunction is an occasional presymptomatic sign of neuroimmunological multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Olfaction is initially processed by olfactory receptor cells that capture odor molecules, and the signals are transmitted to the glomeruli in the olfactory bulbs via olfactory nerves and processed in the primary olfactory cortex in the brain. Damage to either the olfactory receptor cells or the olfactory bulb and primary olfactory cortex may influence olfactory functioning. A close link between neuroimmunological disorders and olfactory dysfunction has been reported in patients and animal models. This review summarizes the literature data concerning olfactory dysfunction in autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica, and systemic lupus erythematosus; animal models thereof; and inflammation in the olfactory bulb.

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Abbreviations

BBB:

Blood–brain barrier

CNS:

Central nervous system

CSF:

Cerebrospinal fluid

EAE:

Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

MOG:

Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein

MRI:

Magnetic resonance imaging

MS:

Multiple sclerosis

NMO:

Neuromyelitis optica

OB:

Olfactory bulb

SAS:

Subarachnoid space

SLE:

Systemic lupus erythematosus

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Funding

This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (Grant Number, NRF-2017R1A2B4012487).

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Correspondence to Taekyun Shin.

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Shin, T., Kim, J., Ahn, M. et al. Olfactory Dysfunction in CNS Neuroimmunological Disorders: a Review. Mol Neurobiol 56, 3714–3721 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12035-018-1341-0

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Keywords

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Olfactory dysfunction
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuromyelitis optica
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus