Chemosignals and Reproduction in Adult Female House Mice
Whitten (1958, 1959) first reported in detail that odors from male and female mice could influence the timing of estrous cycles and reproduction in adult conspecifics. Urinary chemosignals from male mice enhance female cycles, whereas urinary chemosignals from other females retard female cycles. Chemosignal modulation of ovarian cyclicity has been documented for a broad range of mammals (see summary in McClintock, 1983). Vandenbergh (1969) first reported that urinary chemosignals from conspecifics influenced the onset of puberty in young female mice. Several decades of research have produced a rather thorough understanding of the manner in which urine from male and female mice influences the sexual development of young females (Vandenbergh, 1983; Vandenbergh and Coppola, 1986; Drickamer, 1986a). The release of these puberty-influencing urinary chemosignals by wild mice has been documented in both the laboratory and under field conditions (Drickamer, 1979; Massey and Vandenbergh, 1980, 1981). In recent tests conducted in outdoor field pens, we have shown that urinary chemosignals affect adult reproduction, puberty in young mice and the size of mouse populations (Drickamer and Mikesic, 1990).
KeywordsEstrous Cycle House Mouse Pregnant Female Wild Stock Estrous Female
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