Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 27, Issue 7, pp 679–686 | Cite as

Characterization of urinary volatiles in Swiss male mice (Mus musculus): bioassay of identified compounds

  • S. Achiraman
  • G. Archunan


The present study was carried out to investigate the chemical nature of the urine of male mice and to assess its bioactivity. Urine of mature male mice was extracted with dichloromethane (1:1 ratio v/v) and analysed by gas-chromatography linked mass-spectrometry (GC-MS). Ten different compounds such as alkanes, alcohols, etc. were detected in the urine. Among the ten, five compounds are specific to males, namely 3-cyclohexene-1-methanol (I), 3-amino-s-triazole (II), 4-ethyl phenol (III), 3-ethyl-2,7-dimethyl octane (IV) and 1-iodoundecane (V). The compound, 4-ethylphenol, has been previously reported in several strains of male mice. Furthermore, the compounds (II) and (IV) are similar to 2-sec-butylthiazole and dehydro-exo-brevicomin compounds which have already been reported in male mice. Bioassay revealed that compounds (II), (III) and (IV) were responsible for attracting females and in inducing aggression towards males, as compared to the other compounds, i.e. (I) and (V). The results indicate that these three volatiles (II, III and IV) of male mice appear to act as attractants of the opposite sex.


Gas-chromatography linked mass-spectrometry mice pheromonal identification sex attraction urine 

Abbreviations used




gas-chromatography linked mass-spectrometry


major urinary protein


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia

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