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Neurosci Behav Physiol. 2006 Jun;36(5):565-71.

Effects of an NO synthase inhibitor on aggressive and sexual behavior in male crickets.

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NK Kol'tsov Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow.


The mechanisms of the effects of some types of behavior on others have received little study. The present investigation addresses the phenomenon present in male crickets of the species Gryllus bimaculatus, consisting of the powerful activation by transient flight (3 min) of aggression to another male and of the female courtship program. We found that flight did not evoke these behavioral changes in males injected with the NO synthase inhibitor LNNA. The intensity and duration of fights with another male, the frequency of ritual singing by the victor, and the intensity with which the victor pursued the vanquished only increased significantly after flight in control male crickets injected with Ringer's solution, but not in experimental crickets. Similarly, flown males injected with LNNA were no different from unflown males in terms of the intensity of female courtship (the latent period and relative duration of courtship singing); in controls, the latent period was significantly shorter and the duration of singing was significantly greater in flown crickets. LNNA had no effect on aggressive or sexual behavior in unflown males. These results demonstrate that flight may increase NO synthesis, making a significant contribution to the formation of the flight-evoked behavioral state.

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