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BMC Biology

, 12:31

First Online: 02 May 2014Received: 01 April 2014Accepted: 25 April 2014DOI: 10.1186-1741-7007-12-31

Cite this article as: Oboti, L., Pérez-Gómez, A., Keller, M. et al. BMC Biol 2014 12: 31. doi:10.1186-1741-7007-12-31


BackgroundOptimal reproductive fitness is essential for the biological success and survival of species. The vomeronasal organ is strongly implicated in the display of sexual and reproductive behaviors in female mice, yet the roles that apical and basal vomeronasal neuron populations play in controlling these gender-specific behaviors remain largely unclear.

ResultsTo dissect the neural pathways underlying these functions, we genetically inactivated the basal vomeronasal organ layer using conditional, cell-specific ablation of the G protein Gαo. Female mice mutant for Gαo show severe alterations in sexual and reproductive behaviors, timing of puberty onset, and estrous cycle. These mutant mice are insensitive to reproductive facilitation stimulated by male pheromones that accelerate puberty and induce ovulation. Gαo-mutant females exhibit a striking reduction in sexual receptivity or lordosis behavior to males, but gender discrimination seems to be intact. These mice also show a loss in male scent preference, which requires a learned association for volatile olfactory signals with other nonvolatile ownership signals that are contained in the high molecular weight fraction of male urine. Thus, Gαo impacts on both instinctive and learned social responses to pheromones.

ConclusionsThese results highlight that sensory neurons of the Gαo-expressing vomeronasal subsystem, together with the receptors they express and the molecular cues they detect, control a wide range of fundamental mating and reproductive behaviors in female mice.

KeywordsBruce effect Estrus induction Gαo signaling Lordosis Mate recognition Puberty acceleration Reproduction AbbreviationsANOVAanalysis of variance

AOBaccessory olfactory bulb

B6C57BL-6 strain mice

CNScentral nervous system

ESP1exocrine-gland secreting peptide 1

GFPgreen fluorescent protein

HMWhigh molecular weight

LMWlow molecular weight

LSDFisher’s least significant difference

MeAmedial amygdala

MHCmajor histocompatibility complex

MOEmain olfactory epithelium

MPOAmedial preoptic area

MUPsmajor urinary proteins


OMPolfactory marker protein

PBSphosphate-buffered saline

PVNparaventricular nucleus

VNOvomeronasal organ

VSNsvomeronasal sensory neurons.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1741-7007-12-31 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Livio Oboti - Anabel Pérez-Gómez - Matthieu Keller - Eric Jacobi - Lutz Birnbaumer - Trese Leinders-Zufall - Frank Zufall

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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