Vomeronasal Organ Sustains Pups’ Anogenital Licking in Primiparous Rats
In the rat, anogenital licking of pups by the dam is vital during the first 3 weeks. A volatile constituent from pups preputial gland secretion has been found to direct and regulate tie pups’ anogenital licking. Dodecyl propionate was identified as the main active compound in the pups’ preputial gland (Brouette-Lahlou et al., 1991 a,b). It seems that the main olfactory system is specialized in the reception of volatile compounds, whereas the vomeronasal system is more effective in detecting compounds of extremely low volatility. Access of large and non-volatile molecules to the vomeronasal organ was demonstrated by Wysocki et al. (1985) in studies of the social and feeding behavior patterns in mammals. Dodecyl propionate, a high molecular weight compound (MW: 242), provides an opportunity to address this hypothesis concerning the vomeronasal function in the reception of relatively non-volatile constituents used in]rheromonal communication.
KeywordsOlfactory Epithelium Maternal Behavior Glass Dish Surgical Control Vomeronasal Organ
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