Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 10, Issue 11, pp 1603–1615

Possible chemical basis for histocompatibility-related mating preference in mice


  • F. J. Schwende
    • Department of ChemistryIndiana University
  • J. W. Jorgenson
    • Department of ChemistryIndiana University
  • M. Novotny
    • Department of ChemistryIndiana University

DOI: 10.1007/BF00988428

Cite this article as:
Schwende, F.J., Jorgenson, J.W. & Novotny, M. J Chem Ecol (1984) 10: 1603. doi:10.1007/BF00988428


High-resolution chromatographic profiles of urinary volatiles were quantitatively recorded and statistically evaluated for the female mice genetically differing in a small region of the major histocompatibility complex on the 17th chromosome. Both immature and estrogenized animals were evaluated. While there seem to be no specific volatile products of the histocompatibility genes, statistically significant differences were readily observed with the immature females of different haplotypes, involving the general range of secondary volatile metabolites. Their possible role in olfactory communication is discussed.

Key words

Female micemating preferencemajor histocompatibility complexolfactory communicationcapillary gas chromatographyMus musculusurine volatiles

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984