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Horm Behav. 2002 Sep;42(2):109-15.

Methyl-testosterone induces male-typical ventilatory behavior in response to putative steroidal pheromones in female round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus).

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E9.


Male round gobies (Neogobius melanostomus) transiently increase their rate of ventilation when exposed to nanomolar concentrations of three putative steroidal pheromones (etiocholanolone, ETIO; estrone, E1; estradiol-glucuronide, E2-3g), whereas females exhibit this response only to ETIO. In this study we implanted females with Silastic capsules that were empty (Blank) or filled with methyl-testosterone (MT) to determine whether androgen induces a male-typical pattern of ventilatory response. As with untreated females in our previous studies, Blank females increased ventilation only in response to ETIO. In contrast, MT females tested 2-3 weeks postimplant responded not only to ETIO, but also to E1 and E2-3g. These results provide the first demonstration of an androgen inducing a male-typical behavioral response to a steroidal pheromone in adult female fish. Together with our previous findings of sexually isomorphic sensory responses to steroid odorants, the present results also suggest that a central action of androgen is responsible for sexually dimorphic behavioral responses to putative pheromonal steroids in Neogobius.

Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science (USA)

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