Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), expressed in a population of periglomerular neurons intrinsic to the olfactory bulb, displays dramatic down-regulation in response to odor deprivation. To begin to elucidate the importance of immediate early genes (IEG) in TH gene regulation, the present study examined expression of IEGs in the olfactory bulb in response to odor deprivation. In addition, the composition of TH AP-1 and CRE binding complexes was investigated in control and odor-deprived mice. Immunocytochemical studies showed that c-Fos, Fos-B, Jun-D, CRE-binding protein (CREB), and phosphorylated CREB (pCREB) are colocalized with TH in the dopaminergic periglomerular neurons. Unilateral naris closure resulted in down-regulation of c-Fos and Fos-B, but not Jun-D, CREB, or pCREB, in the glomerular layer of the ipsilateral olfactory bulb. Gel shift assays demonstrated a significant decrease (32%) in TH AP-1, but not CRE, binding activity in the odor-deprived bulb. Fos-B was found to be the exclusive member of the Fos family present in the TH AP-1 complex. CREB, CRE modulator protein (CREM), Fos-B, and Jun-D, but not c-Fos, all contributed to the CRE DNA-protein complex. These results indicated that Fos-B, acting through both AP-1 and CRE motifs, may be implicated in the regulation of TH expression in the olfactory bulb dopaminergic neurons.