The Induction of Pregnancy Block in Mice by Bodily Fluids via the Vomeronasal Organ | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2168-9652

Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access
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Research Article

The Induction of Pregnancy Block in Mice by Bodily Fluids via the Vomeronasal Organ

Roger N Thompson1, Murtada Taha2, Audrey Napier1 and Kennedy S Wekesa1*
1Department of Biological Sciences, Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL, 36104, USA
2Department of Biology, Albany State University, Albany, GA, 31705, 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 April 06, 2013; Accepted May 02, 2013; Published May 06, 2013
Citation: Thompson RN, Taha M, Napier A, Wekesa KS (2013) The Induction of Pregnancy Block in Mice by Bodily Fluids via the Vomeronasal Organ. Biochem Physiol 2:109. doi:10.4172/2168-9652.1000109
Copyright: © 2013 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.


Animals have evolved specific communication systems to identify and attract mates, and to discern the social status of conspecifics. In mice, these exchanges of information involve the emission and detection of pheromones. These pheromones are detected by the vomeronasal system. While urine has long been identified as the primary source of pheromones, including those responsible for pregnancy block, recent evidence indicates that there are other sources. These sources contain MHC class I peptides from the immune system and ESP1 from an exocrine gland. The MHC class I peptides have been identified as compounds that elicit the pregnancy block effect via the vomeronasal system, similar to the effect elicited by urine from male mice, including castrated or juvenile males. Here we provide evidence which shows bodily fluids such as saliva, blood serum or fecal extract, along with tissue extracts are capable of inducing the pregnancy block (Bruce Effect) paradigm, in a manner equivalent to female mice exposed to whole urine. While there appears to be a number of sources that can induce pregnancy block, one exception is the nervous system. Therefore, we conclude that pregnancy block can be mediated by stimuli from several different sources in the same manner as whole male urine.


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