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J Reprod Fertil. 1990 Jan;88(1):335-42.

Control of parturient behaviour by prostaglandin F-2 alpha in the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii).

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Department of Anatomy, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.


Nulliparous female tammar wallabies during the non-breeding season and adult male wallabies were treated with PGF-2 alpha at doses of 0.008, 0.04, 0.2 and 1.0 mg/kg. All the male and female wallabies responded to the three highest doses by showing parturient behaviour. At the lowest dose 4/4 males and 1/4 females responded. The peak concentrations of PGF-2 alpha metabolite (PGFM) in the peripheral plasma after administration of 0.008, 0.04 and 0.2 mg PGF-2 alpha/kg were 0.70 +/- 0.08, 3.02 +/- 0.37 and 8.48 +/- 0.76 ng/ml (mean +/- s.e.m.). Since the peak plasma concentrations of PGFM at normal parturition are reported to be 2.5 +/- 0.9 ng/ml, parturient behaviour can be induced by physiological concentrations of exogenous PGF-2 alpha. The effectiveness of PGF-2 alpha in males indicates that parturient behaviour is probably a result of a direct action of PGF-2 alpha on the brain, rather than a response to uterine or vaginal contractions. These experiments confirm that PGF-2 alpha is an important behavioural hormone in the tammar wallaby.

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