Olfactory input dominates reproductive behavior in mice

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Scientists at Harvard University have found strong signs that the pheromones driving reproduction and fertility in mice are detected primarily by the nose -- not by the specialized vomeronasal system that many researchers had suspected of receiving and processing the bodily chemicals that govern mating behavior. The unexpected finding may settle an ongoing scientific debate by providing evidence that key reproductive behaviors in mice arise predominantly, if not exclusively, from olfactory input instead of input from the vomeronasal, visual or auditory senses.

The results, from a team led by Harvard biologist Catherine Dulac, appear on the web site of the journal Cell this week, and will be published in the journal's Nov. 18 issue.

"It's always interesting when there is a surprise finding," says Dulac, professor of molecular and cellular biology in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. "Most biology textbooks now say that pheromones affecting reproductive behavior in non-human mammals are detected by the vomeronasal organ, while the nose processes all other odors. Our work suggests quite convincingly that the mouse nose processes both pheromones and other scents, and in fact provides much or all of the chemosensory input that drives mating."

Dulac and her colleagues made pioneering use of a retrograde pseudorabies virus, which is capable of traveling across the synapses separating neurons but does so in a direction opposite to that in which nerve impulses ordinarily travel. By injecting fluorescently marked virus into a mating center in the mouse hypothalamus -- a collection of neurons that produce luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH), which manages the development and function of mammalian gonads -- the scientists could trace backward to find the sensory receptors that first detect pheromones, species- and gender-specific chemical cues that drive anima

Contact: Steve Bradt
Harvard University

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Olfactory nerve cells expressing same receptor display a varied set of reactions
2. Olfactory system detects pheromones that control reproduction
3. Olfactory receptor cells may provide clues to psychiatric disease
4. Underwater robots work together without human input
5. Novel asthma study shows multiple genetic input required; single-gene solution shot down
6. Childhood environment influences reproductive function
7. March of Dimes awards $250K prize to stem cell research, reproductive biology pioneers
8. Delayed breeding is not necessarily costly to lifetime reproductive success
9. Universities in San Antonio and Hawaii study safety of assisted reproductive technologies
10. Exposure to dioxins influences male reproductive system, study of Vietnam veterans concludes
11. Conservative forces hampering progress in sexual and reproductive health

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/21/2016)... , June 21, 2016 NuData ... the new role of principal product architect and ... the director of customer development. Both will report ... technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth ... response to high customer demand and customer focus ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... TURKU, Finland , June 9, 2016 ... French National Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure ... France during the major tournament ... and data communications systems and services, announced today that its ... Police Prefecture to back up public safety across ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... -- Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics ... Support & Other Service  The latest report ... analysis of the global Border Security market . ... $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: In November ... software and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 A person commits a ... crime scene to track the criminal down. An ... Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly ... support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome ... has secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon ... ramp up automation and to advance its drug development ... its new facility. "SVB has been an ... beyond the services a traditional bank would provide," said ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a ... discoveries to the medical community, has closed its Series ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received a ... the capital we need to meet our current goals," ... provide us the runway to complete validation on the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Connecticut (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... introduce a new line of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for ... September 12–17 in Chicago. The result of a collaboration among several companies with ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: