Lesions of the vomeronasal organ disrupt mating-induced pair bonding in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

Tom Curtis, Yan Liu, Zuoxin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is a highly social, monogamous species and displays pair bonding that can be assessed by the presence of selective affiliation with the familiar partner versus a conspecific stranger. In female prairie voles, exposure to a male or to male sensory cues is essential for estrus induction, and the subsequent mating facilitates pair bond formation. In the present study, we examined the role of the vomeronasal organ (VNO) in estrus induction and pair bonding in female prairie voles. VNO lesions did not alter olfaction mediated by the main olfactory system, but did prevent male-induced estrus induction. We by-passed the necessity of the VNO for estrus induction by estrogen priming the females. Despite the fact that all subjects displayed similar levels of mating, social contact and locomotor activities, VNO lesioned females failed to show mating-induced pair bonding whereas intact and sham-lesioned females displayed a robust preference for the familiar partner. Our data not only support previous findings that the VNO is important for estrus induction but also indicate that this structure is crucial for mating-induced pair bonding, suggesting an important role for the VNO in reproductive success in prairie voles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-174
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Volume901
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 18 May 2001

Fingerprint

Vomeronasal Organ
Arvicolinae
Estrus
Pair Bond
Smell
Locomotion
Cues
Grassland
Object Attachment
Estrogens

Keywords

  • Estrus induction
  • Monogamy
  • Olfaction
  • Social behavior
  • Vomeronasal organ

Cite this

@article{d799845de16948c0a456cea9fc9e981d,
title = "Lesions of the vomeronasal organ disrupt mating-induced pair bonding in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)",
abstract = "The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is a highly social, monogamous species and displays pair bonding that can be assessed by the presence of selective affiliation with the familiar partner versus a conspecific stranger. In female prairie voles, exposure to a male or to male sensory cues is essential for estrus induction, and the subsequent mating facilitates pair bond formation. In the present study, we examined the role of the vomeronasal organ (VNO) in estrus induction and pair bonding in female prairie voles. VNO lesions did not alter olfaction mediated by the main olfactory system, but did prevent male-induced estrus induction. We by-passed the necessity of the VNO for estrus induction by estrogen priming the females. Despite the fact that all subjects displayed similar levels of mating, social contact and locomotor activities, VNO lesioned females failed to show mating-induced pair bonding whereas intact and sham-lesioned females displayed a robust preference for the familiar partner. Our data not only support previous findings that the VNO is important for estrus induction but also indicate that this structure is crucial for mating-induced pair bonding, suggesting an important role for the VNO in reproductive success in prairie voles.",
keywords = "Estrus induction, Monogamy, Olfaction, Social behavior, Vomeronasal organ",
author = "Tom Curtis and Yan Liu and Zuoxin Wang",
year = "2001",
month = "5",
day = "18",
doi = "10.1016/S0006-8993(01)02343-5",
language = "English",
volume = "901",
pages = "167--174",
journal = "Brain Research",
issn = "0006-8993",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "1-2",

}

Lesions of the vomeronasal organ disrupt mating-induced pair bonding in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). / Curtis, Tom; Liu, Yan; Wang, Zuoxin.

In: Brain Research, Vol. 901, No. 1-2, 18.05.2001, p. 167-174.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Lesions of the vomeronasal organ disrupt mating-induced pair bonding in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

AU - Curtis, Tom

AU - Liu, Yan

AU - Wang, Zuoxin

PY - 2001/5/18

Y1 - 2001/5/18

N2 - The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is a highly social, monogamous species and displays pair bonding that can be assessed by the presence of selective affiliation with the familiar partner versus a conspecific stranger. In female prairie voles, exposure to a male or to male sensory cues is essential for estrus induction, and the subsequent mating facilitates pair bond formation. In the present study, we examined the role of the vomeronasal organ (VNO) in estrus induction and pair bonding in female prairie voles. VNO lesions did not alter olfaction mediated by the main olfactory system, but did prevent male-induced estrus induction. We by-passed the necessity of the VNO for estrus induction by estrogen priming the females. Despite the fact that all subjects displayed similar levels of mating, social contact and locomotor activities, VNO lesioned females failed to show mating-induced pair bonding whereas intact and sham-lesioned females displayed a robust preference for the familiar partner. Our data not only support previous findings that the VNO is important for estrus induction but also indicate that this structure is crucial for mating-induced pair bonding, suggesting an important role for the VNO in reproductive success in prairie voles.

AB - The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is a highly social, monogamous species and displays pair bonding that can be assessed by the presence of selective affiliation with the familiar partner versus a conspecific stranger. In female prairie voles, exposure to a male or to male sensory cues is essential for estrus induction, and the subsequent mating facilitates pair bond formation. In the present study, we examined the role of the vomeronasal organ (VNO) in estrus induction and pair bonding in female prairie voles. VNO lesions did not alter olfaction mediated by the main olfactory system, but did prevent male-induced estrus induction. We by-passed the necessity of the VNO for estrus induction by estrogen priming the females. Despite the fact that all subjects displayed similar levels of mating, social contact and locomotor activities, VNO lesioned females failed to show mating-induced pair bonding whereas intact and sham-lesioned females displayed a robust preference for the familiar partner. Our data not only support previous findings that the VNO is important for estrus induction but also indicate that this structure is crucial for mating-induced pair bonding, suggesting an important role for the VNO in reproductive success in prairie voles.

KW - Estrus induction

KW - Monogamy

KW - Olfaction

KW - Social behavior

KW - Vomeronasal organ

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0035906519&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/S0006-8993(01)02343-5

DO - 10.1016/S0006-8993(01)02343-5

M3 - Article

C2 - 11368964

AN - SCOPUS:0035906519

VL - 901

SP - 167

EP - 174

JO - Brain Research

JF - Brain Research

SN - 0006-8993

IS - 1-2

ER -