Prenatal Testosterone Exposure Influences Neuronal Sensitivity to Pheromones in Female Mice | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2168-9652

Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access
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Research Article

Prenatal Testosterone Exposure Influences Neuronal Sensitivity to Pheromones in Female Mice

Roger N Thompson, Audrey Napier and Kennedy S Wekesa*
Department of Biological Sciences, Alabama State University, Montgomery, Alabama 36101-0271, USA
Corresponding Author : Kennedy S Wekesa
Department of Biological Sciences
Alabama State University, Montgomery, Alabama 36101-0271, USA
Tel: 334-229-4196
Fax: 334-229-1007
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: June 10, 2015; Accepted: July 08, 2015; Published: July 15, 2015
Citation: Thompson RN, Napier A, Wekesa KS (2015) Prenatal Testosterone Exposure Influences Neuronal Sensitivity to Pheromones in Female Mice. Biochem Physiol 4:170. doi:10.4172/2168-9652.1000170
Copyright: © 2015 Thompson RN, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Exposure to androgens during in utero development in animals which give birth to multiple offspring causes lifelong increased sensitivity in the offspring. Females who develop with a male on each side (designated 2M) are exposed to the testosterone produced by these males due to the steroids freely crossing cell membranes. Female mice exposed to testosterone during development are “masculinized” in their growth and behavior. According to the organizational theory, testosterone is converted to estrogen and it is this estrogen which organizes the brain. Increased sensitivity to testosterone is reflected by the exposed females showing increased aggressive behavior and a reduction in production of IP3 levels in the vomeronasal organ (VNO). These 2M females respond more like males when exposed to the pheromonal compounds 2-Heptanone and 2,5-dimethylpyrazine. In previous studies we showed a distinct difference between male and female IP3 production when male and female VNO microvilli are exposed to these compounds. Production of IP3 by male microvilli exposed to 2-Heptanone and 2,5-dimethylpyrazine were the same as the nonstimulus phosphate buffered saline (PBS). In the present study, we provide evidence showing 2M female IP3 production to be similar to that of male mice. In addition, we provide evidence for increased aggression when 2M females are injected with exogenous testosterone.


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