Induction of female and male mating patterns in female rats by gonadal steroids: Effects of neonatal or adult olfactory bulbectomy

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Three experiments evaluated hormonally mediated sexual response patterns in Long-Evans female rats receiving olfactory bulb ablations neonatally (Day 2) or in adulthood. In a test of Ss' reactivity to a caged male in an open field, estrogen and progesterone treatments increased the number of squares entered and the number of cage contacts, but olfactory bulb removal had no effect on these measures. During mating tests, the feminine sexual behavior of Ss' bulbectomized on Day 2 was similar to that of control-operated Ss, whereas Ss bulbectomized as adults displayed enhanced levels of lordosis, darting, and ear wiggling. Lordosis varied with estrogen dose, whereas darting was progesterone-dependent. In tests of masculine copulatory behavior, the proportion of bulbectomized Ss (Day 2 and adult) that mounted was significantly lower than that of control-operated Ss. The effects of olfactory bulb removal, which vary with the age at ablation and the behavioral system investigated, are not mediated by a single neuroendocrine system and cannot be interpreted in terms of a unitary “arousal” construct. (54 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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