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Reproduction-related behaviors of Swiss–Webster female mice living in a cold environment

Authors
  • Johnny Chan
  • Sonoko Ogawa
  • Donald W. Pfaff
Publisher
The National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
Jan 02, 2001
Source
PMC
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Design
  • Medicine
License
Unknown

Abstract

Based on a molecular neuroendocrine theory about cold environments, thyroid hormone levels, and liganded thyroid hormone receptor interference with estrogen receptor function, experiments were designed to test female mouse reproductive behaviors in the cold. Because natural seasonal temperature declines would usually be associated with decreased photoperiods and reduced food supplies, we combined cold temperatures with short days and metabolic challenge. The simplest hypothesis was that lordosis quotients would be significantly reduced as a result of cold temperatures. That hypothesis was denied. Instead, female approaches to the stud male declined. Because cold temperatures also led to significant reductions of activity in locomotor wheels, a straightforward reduction of activity could explain the female's behavior during mating tests. We suggest that cold temperatures accompanied by reduced photoperiod and reduced metabolic fuel can reduce overall activity in female mice, thus indirectly blocking untimely reproductive behaviors.

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