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Brain Res. 2000 Jul 7;870(1-2):20-6.

Male mice lacking the gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRP-R) display elevated preference for conspecific odors and increased social investigatory behaviors.

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Department of Degenerative Neurological Diseases, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawahigashi, Kodaira-City, 187-8502, Tokyo, Japan.


Previously, we generated gastrin-releasing peptide receptor null mutant mice (GRP-R-deficient mice), and found that these animals displayed increased non-aggressive social responses in an ordinary social interaction test using a resident-intruder method. In the present study, we examined in more detail the social behaviors of GRP-R-deficient male mice. In social interaction tests, GRP-R-deficient mice showed more social responses, such as sniffing and nosing, relative to wild-type mice, and similar results were obtained whether GRP-R-deficient mice served as intruders or residents. In the same way, they showed more contact behaviors toward an anesthetized conspecific, and less locomotor activity than wild-type mice in a social investigation test toward an anesthetized male mouse. Since olfactory systems play important roles in the social behavior of rodents, olfactory preference tests were conducted in order to evaluate the olfactory properties of GRP-R-deficient mice. The results suggest that no differences exist between wild-type mice and GRP-R-deficient mice in the preference between a novel sawdust odor and their own odor, or that of other male mice. However, GRP-R-deficient mice preferred the odor of other male mice to their own, in contrast to wild-type mice. Furthermore, the preferences of GRP-R-deficient and wild-type mice were not disrupted by intraperitoneal infusion of diazepam (1.5 mg/kg). These results indicate that neither the motion, nor the behavior of conspecifics, nor reduced anxiety lead to the increased non-aggressive social responses and/or social investigatory behaviors in GRP-R-deficient mice. Rather, these latter behaviors may be a consequence of altered cognition of conspecific odors in the mutant mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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