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Physiol Behav. 2000 Jan;68(3):317-31.

Cell-body lesions of the posterodorsal preoptic nucleus or posterodorsal medial amygdala, but not the parvicellular subparafascicular thalamus, disrupt mating in male gerbils.

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Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine 92697-4550, USA.


In gerbils, the posterodorsal preoptic nucleus (PdPN) and the lateral part of the posterodorsal medial amygdala (MeApd) express Fos with ejaculation. In contrast, the medial/central part of the MeApd expresses Fos when a sexually experienced male reenters the environment associated with mating. The parvicellular part of the subparafascicular thalamic nucleus (SPFp) of gerbils expresses Fos under both conditions. To study the role of the PdPN and MeApd in male sex behavior, male gerbils were tested for mating before and after these areas were bilaterally lesioned by infusions of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA). Controls received the vehicle or inactive isomer, NMLA. Lesions in either area reduced mounting, but MeApd lesions, which were more complete than PdPN lesions, also delayed ejaculation when males intromitted. To determine if the MeApd and PdPN affect mating via a common pathway, they were bilaterally disconnected by lesioning them unilaterally, contralateral to each other. Other groups received ipsilateral lesions, NMLA, or bilateral lesions of the PdPN or MeApd. In addition, the SPFp was studied using bilateral lesions. MeApd and PdPN lesions again decreased mounting, and this time both lesions, which were quite complete, delayed ejaculation when males intromitted. Contralateral lesions that bilaterally disconnected these cell groups from each other mimicked both effects. Thus, the MeApd and PdPN affect mounting and ejaculation, at least in part, via their connections with each other. In contrast, SPFp lesions did not affect mating. Thus, SPFp cells activated at ejaculation may react to ejaculation rather than trigger it, possibly initiating preparations for paternity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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