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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jun 1986; 83(12): 4576–4579.
PMCID: PMC323778

Promotion of the Whitten effect in female mice by synthetic analogs of male urinary constituents.


Two volatile constituents of male mouse urine, 2-(sec-butyl)-4,5-dihydrothiazole and dehydro-exo-brevicomin, were synthesized and tested for their ability to induce estrous cycle in female mice (the Whitten effect). The suppression of ovarian cycling activity that resulted from grouping the females was abolished by exposure to normal male urine. The synthetic compounds, when added together in appropriate concentrations to the (previously inactive) urine of castrated males, or even to water, were found to be as effective as normal male urine. The action of the synthetic compounds appears attenuated for singly caged females.

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Selected References

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