The use of gene deletion by homologous recombination to determine gene or protein function has wide application in vertebrate neurobiology. An ideal complement to gene deletion would be subsequent gene replacement to demonstrate re-acquisition of function. Here we used an adenoviral vector to replace the olfactory marker protein (OMP) gene in olfactory receptor neurons of adult OMP-null mice and demonstrated the subsequent re-acquisition of function. Our results show that short-term expression of OMP restores the kinetics of electrophysiological responses of OMP-null mice to those of the control phenotype. This adenoviral-mediated rescue of the OMP-null phenotype is consistent with involvement of OMP in olfactory transduction.