Control of reproductive behavior by sex steroids in male quail

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Abstract

Conducted 2 experiments on the ability of different sex steroids to stimulate crowing, strutting, and copulation. Exp I with 32 male Japanese quail was designed to maximize crowing. Intact untreated males and castrated males treated with 2 dosages of testosterone propionate (TP), with 2 dosages of dihydrotestosterone propionate (DHTP), or with oil were tested. The DHTP-treated males crowed extensively; TP-treated males crowed, but to a lesser extent than DHTP-treated males. In Exp II (30 Ss), which was designed to maximize strutting and copulation, males with photically regressed testes were treated with DHTP, DHTP + estradiol benzoate (EB), or EB alone and were tested with female partners. The DHTP-treated males did not copulate, but 2 birds strutted. The EB-treated males copulated but did not strut. Males receiving DHTP + EB strutted and copulated. These results suggest that (a) copulation in quail may involve conversion of testosterone to estrogen by the brain; (b) crowing and strutting may involve conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone by the brain; and (c) in quail, the different components of male reproductive behavior show divergent patterns of hormone responsiveness, and thus the neural tissues underlying these behaviors have different molecular requirements for activation by steroids. (42 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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