Fos expression in the olfactory pathway of high- and low-sexually performing rams exposed to urine from estrous or ovariectomized ewes

Amanda Jo Mirto, Kathleen Jeanette Austin, Valerie Ann Uthlaut, Charles Eugene Roselli, Brenda Mae Alexander

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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Abstract

Exposure to estrous ewe urine stimulates investigation and mounting activity in sexually active but not sexually inactive rams. It was hypothesized sexual indifference may result from an inability to detect olfactory cues or an interruption of the pathway from detection of the olfactory stimulus to the motor response. Sexually active (n = 4) and inactive (n = 3) rams were exposed to urine from estrous ewes. An additional group of sexually active rams (n = 3) were exposed to urine from ovariectomized ewes. Rams were exsanguinated following 1 h of exposure to stimulus. Neural activity was determined in tissues of interest by the presence of fos and fos-related proteins detected by immunohistochemistry procedures. Sexually active rams exposed to urine from ovariectomized ewes had more (P ≤ 0.05) fos-positive cells in the olfactory bulb, but fewer (P = 0.03) fos-positive cells in the cortical amygdala compared to sexually active rams exposed to urine from estrous ewes. Sexually inactive rams had similar (P ≥ 0.13) numbers of fos positive neurons in the olfactory bulb and medial amygdala but fewer (P ≤ 0.04) in the central amygdala, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and the medial preoptic area compared to sexually active rams exposed to urine from estrous ewes. Sexual inactivity was not associated with decreased hypothalamic function since fos activity was similar (P ≥ 0.14) among groups in the suprachiasmatic and ventral medial nucleus. Sexual inactivity is not likely due to an impaired ability to detect or process olfactory stimuli by the main olfactory bulb and medial-cortical amygdala. Sexually inactive rams may have reduced attentiveness to sexual stimuli and/or decreased responsiveness of regions in the brain which regulate reproductive behaviors.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages22-28
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume186
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Fingerprint

rams
ewes
urine
Olfactory Pathways
Urine
Olfactory Bulb
amygdala
olfactory bulb
Olfactory Cortex
cells
Reproductive Behavior
Septal Nuclei
Preoptic Area
Aptitude
Amygdala
Cues
Immunohistochemistry
Neurons
Brain
Proteins

Keywords

  • c-Fos
  • Olfactory pathway
  • Rams
  • Sexual Behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Fos expression in the olfactory pathway of high- and low-sexually performing rams exposed to urine from estrous or ovariectomized ewes. / Mirto, Amanda Jo; Austin, Kathleen Jeanette; Uthlaut, Valerie Ann; Roselli, Charles Eugene; Alexander, Brenda Mae.

In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Vol. 186, 01.01.2017, p. 22-28.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Mirto, Amanda Jo ; Austin, Kathleen Jeanette ; Uthlaut, Valerie Ann ; Roselli, Charles Eugene ; Alexander, Brenda Mae. / Fos expression in the olfactory pathway of high- and low-sexually performing rams exposed to urine from estrous or ovariectomized ewes. In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2017 ; Vol. 186. pp. 22-28
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