Hormonal Responses to a Potential Mate in Male Birds

  • Yasuko TobariEmail author
  • Yoshimi Sato
  • Kazuo Okanoya
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1001)


Social interactions rapidly modulate circulating hormone levels and behavioral patterns in most male animals. In male birds, sexual interaction or visual exposure to a conspecific female usually causes an increase in the levels of peripheral reproductive hormones, such as gonadotropins and androgens. Although the perception of a female presence is processed in the brain and peripheral hormonal levels are regulated by the hypothalamus–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis, the specific neural circuitry and neurochemical systems that translate social signals into reproductive physiology in male birds were not well understood until 2008. Today, there is growing evidence that two neuropeptides localized in the hypothalamus, gonadotropin-releasing hormone and gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone, are responsive to social information. These two neuropeptides have thus begun to be regarded as modulators translating social stimuli into changes in the levels of peripheral reproductive hormones. Here, we review previous studies that investigated the male responses of the HPG axis to the mere presence of a female or to sexual interaction, and describe the neurochemical pathways linking visual perception of a potential mate to rapid peripheral hormonal changes via the brain–pituitary endocrine system in sexually mature male Japanese quail.


Call Courtship behavior Female presence Luteinizing hormone Monoamine Noradrenaline Norepinephrine Social environment Song Testosterone 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Animal Genetics and Breeding, Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology, School of Veterinary MedicineAzabu UniversitySagamiharaJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Arts and SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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