The Coordinate Roles of Mother and Young in Establishing and Maintaining Pheromonal Symbiosis in the Rat
In the rat, a new olfactory-based association emerges between mother and young at about 14 days postpartum. The mother begins to excrete a pheromone in her feces that strongly attracts the young. Both the pheromone and the young’s responsiveness to it remain in evidence only about two weeks—a relatively brief time even in the life span of the rat. But although obviously short-lived, this pheromonal bond, as it has been called, serves important developmental ends, some of which have come to light recently in our laboratory. What we want to deal with first, however, are not the adaptive advantages that accrue to the young in responding to the pheromone, but how the pheromonal relationship comes to be formed.
KeywordsBile Acid Cholic Acid Chenodeoxycholic Acid Deoxycholic Acid Lactate Female
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