Induction of Estrus and Ovulation in Female Grey Short-Tailed Opossums, Monodelphis Domestica, Involves the Main Olfactory Epithelium
Grey short-tailed opossums are South American didelphid marsupials. Females rarely exhibit behavioral estrus without direct contact with a male or male chemosignals (Fadem, 1985, 1989; Baggott et al., 1987; Baggott and Moore, 1990). Male pheromonal cues alone are quite sufficient to induce behavioral estrus (Fadem, 1989). The stimulus male can be removed after five days, once proestrus behavior is initiated, and ovulation will occur without any copulatory stimulus (Baggott et al., 1987). Thus, while the presence of a male or male chemosignals is important for the induction of estrus in female opossums, it has not been established whether (i) male chemosignals are the only stimuli involved, or (ii) which olfactory epithelium mediates the chemosensory information. This study represents an initial investigation of both these aims.
KeywordsOlfactory Epithelium Prairie Vole Vomeronasal Organ Monodelphis Domestica Unfamiliar Male
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