TitleThe effects of sex steroids and vasotocin on behavioral responses to visual and olfactory sexual stimuli in ovariectomized female roughskin newts
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsThompson, RR, Moore, FL
JournalHormones and Behavior
Volume44
Pagination311-318
Type of ArticleJournal Article
ISSN0018-506X
Abstract

Previous studies have found that vasotocin (AVT) administration to male roughskin newts (Taricha granulosa) enhances courtship clasping as well as appetitive responses to specific sexual stimuli and that treating female newts with androgens plus AVT induces the expression of male-typical courtship clasping (the selective clasping of females). However, the unique and/or interactive effects of sex steroids and AVT on appetitive responses to specific sexual stimuli have not yet been determined. To first identify male-typical, sexually dimorphic appetitive responses to female sexual stimuli, we tested intact newts during the breeding season and found that males, but not females, are attracted to female visual and pheromonal sexual stimuli. We then used ovariectomized (ovx) females implanted with empty silastic capsules (Blk) or with capsules containing testosterone (T), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), or estradiol (E2) and then injected with either saline or AVT to determine the effects of steroids and AVT, alone or in combination with each other, on male-typical behavioral responses to those stimuli. E2 treatment depressed responses toward female visual stimuli independently of AVT. On the other hand, only T-implanted, AVT-injected females displayed male-typical behavioral responses toward female olfactory stimuli, preferring to spend more time in proximity to female-scented than unscented newt models and selectively clasping the female-scented models. Together, these results support the conclusion that sex steroids and AVT influence behavioral responses to sexual stimuli via sensory-specific mechanisms. Furthermore, they suggest that T and AVT interact within the brain to influence sensorimotor processing in the pathways that integrate olfactory sexual stimuli into male-typical courtship behaviors. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

URL<Go to ISI>://WOS:000186654800002
DOI10.1016/s0018-506x(03)00161-2