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Smell and Stress Response in the Brain: Review of the Connection between Chemistry and Neuropharmacology.

Authors
  • Masuo, Yoshinori1
  • Satou, Tadaaki2
  • Takemoto, Hiroaki3
  • Koike, Kazuo3
  • 1 Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Toho University, 2-2-1 Miyama, Funabashi, Chiba 274-8510, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 2 Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, International University of Health and Welfare, 2600-1 Kitakanemaru, Ohtawara, Tochigi 324-8501, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 3 Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Toho University, 2-2-1 Miyama, Funabashi, Chiba 274-8510, Japan. , (Japan)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Molecules
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Apr 28, 2021
Volume
26
Issue
9
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/molecules26092571
PMID: 33924992
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The stress response in the brain is not fully understood, although stress is one of the risk factors for developing mental disorders. On the other hand, the stimulation of the olfactory system can influence stress levels, and a certain smell has been empirically known to have a stress-suppressing effect, indeed. In this review, we first outline what stress is and previous studies on stress-responsive biomarkers (stress markers) in the brain. Subsequently, we confirm the olfactory system and review previous studies on the relationship between smell and stress response by species, such as humans, rats, and mice. Numerous studies demonstrated the stress-suppressing effects of aroma. There are also investigations showing the effects of odor that induce stress in experimental animals. In addition, we introduce recent studies on the effects of aroma of coffee beans and essential oils, such as lavender, cypress, α-pinene, and thyme linalool on the behavior and the expression of stress marker candidates in the brain. The transfer of volatile components into the brain is also discussed while using the results of thyme linalool as an example. These studies may provide a good opportunity to connect chemical research at the molecular level with neuropharmacological approaches in the future.

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