Phenotyping the males of mouse and rat strains with genetically defined behavioral disturbances in a model of sexual activation
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Sexual behavior is one of the biologically highly relevant types of behavior. Sexual arousal, or the initial stage of sexual behavior, is of particular interest since it triggers all the following events, but still remains the least known element of this behavior. Sexual dysfunctions are caused by aging, stress, or the side effects of psychotropic drugs; they are symptoms of a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Therefore, the study of sexual behavior appears to be an important step in modeling various animal pathologies and the effects of psychotropic drugs. We have phenotyped animals with a hereditary predisposition to catalepsy using our previous development, a model of male sexual arousal, and examined the relationship between catalepsy and sexual arousal. The major gene for a high predisposition to catalepsy was shown to be associated with the expression of sexual motivation, but not with the hormonal component of sexual arousal (increase in the plasma testosterone levels following exposure to a receptive female). ASC (Antidepressant Sensitive Catalepsy) mice, proposed as a model of depression, had a decreased manifestation of sexual motivation, while male GC (Genetic Catalepsy) strain rats had enhanced sexual motivation. We note that the highly excitable GC strain animals corresponding to the manic pole of bipolar disorders prevail at the current stage of breeding. Our results are in good agreement with the clinical data that indicate reduced libido in depressed patients and hypersexuality in people with bipolar disorder.
Keywordsmale sexual behavior mouse rat sexual activation sexual motivation testosterone catalepsy selective models of psychopathology affective disorders
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