Priming Pheromones in Mice

  • Anna Marchlewska-Koj


When we consider the present knowledge of pheromonal systems in mammals, undoubtedly the best documented are behavioral and physiological activities involved in reproduction of mice. More is known about priming pheromonal action in this species than in any other, but all the information comes from the laboratory while observations in wild populations are very limited. The investigators were more successful working with mice than with other laboratory rodents, e.g., rats, because Mus musculus is particularly sensitive to the pheromonal factors. Another possible explanation is that during the long term breeding in laboratory conditions selection between various strains occurred and some of them have accumulated genes which condition special sensitivity to pheromonal stimulants. However, the influence of priming pheromones on reproduction physiology was also described in other rodents: Peromyscus maniculatus of the Cricetidae family (Bronson and Dezell, 1968; Eleftheriou et al., 1962; Vandenbergh, 1980) and in a number of Microtidae: Microtus pennsylvanicus (Clulow and Langford, 1971), Microtus agrestis and Clethrionomys glareolus (Clulow and Clarke, 1968; Clarke and Clulow, 1973), Microtus ochrogaster (Hasler and Nalbandov, 1974) and Dicrostonyx groenlandicus (Hasler and Banks, 1975; Mallory and Brooks, 1980). In all investigated rodents similar reactions to the olfaction stimulants were found. This points out that in Rodentia the same or similar pheromonal activity can influence reproduction physiology. Of course it cannot be generalized that all pheromonal phenomena observed in Mus musculus are also characteristic for other species, but the mouse reproduction system can be used as a model system for macrosmatic small animals.


Luteinizing Hormone Female Mouse Estrous Cycle Sexual Maturation Peromyscus Maniculatus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Marchlewska-Koj
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ZoologyJagiellonian UniversityKrakowPoland

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