Olfactory Signals of Conspecifics Stimulate Adrenal Function in Female Mice

  • A. Marchlewska-Koj
  • M. Kruczek
  • M. Zacharczuk-Kakietek


The influence of conspecific chemosignals on the reproductive activity of female mice is a classic example of pheromonal interaction between mammals (see Marchlewska-Koj, A., 1984, for review). Chemical signals may be important in the regulation of reproductive activity in wild populations; for example, specific olfactory cues released by females may limit reproductive activity under high density conditions. It has been observed that mice kept in such conditions show increased activity of the adrenal glands and decreased circulating gonadotrophins (Christian et al., 1965), effects which can be duplicated to some degree by injection of ACTH (Christian, 1964). Nichols and Chevins (1981a) found that female mice housed in groups had higher plasma corticosterone levels than singly reared animals. However, Bronson and Chapman (1968) observed heavier adrenal glands in individually housed females than in grouped ones. The concept that the neurogenic stressors associated with high density (social stress) increase the release of adrenocorticotrophin and reduce circulating gonadotrophins was reviewed by Bronson (1990).


Female Mouse Corticosterone Level Plasma Corticosterone Adrenal Function Single Male 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Marchlewska-Koj
    • 1
  • M. Kruczek
    • 1
  • M. Zacharczuk-Kakietek
    • 2
  1. 1.Mammalian Reproduction GroupInstitute of Zoology Jagiellonian UniversityCracowPoland
  2. 2.Institute of SportsWarsawPoland

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