Peter A. Brennan

Learn More
The mammalian vomeronasal organ detects social information about gender, status, and individuality. The molecular cues carrying this information remain largely unknown. Here, we show that small peptides that serve as ligands for major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules function also as sensory stimuli for a subset of vomeronasal sensory(More)
Mammalian social systems rely on signals passed between individuals conveying information including sex, reproductive status, individual identity, ownership, competitive ability and health status. Many of these signals take the form of complex mixtures of molecules sensed by chemosensory systems and have important influences on a variety of behaviours that(More)
Recent insights have revolutionized our understanding of the importance of chemical signals in influencing vertebrate behaviour. Previously unknown families of pheromonal signals have been identified that are expanding the traditional definition of a pheromone. Although previously regarded as functioning independently, the main olfactory and vomeronasal(More)
In this review, we compare the neural basis of olfactory learning in three specialized contexts that occur during sensitive periods of enhanced neural plasticity. Although they involve very different behavioural contexts, they share several common features, including a dependence on noradrenergic transmission in the olfactory bulb. The most extensively(More)
Male mice excrete large quantities of major urinary proteins that have been proposed to have an important pheromonal role either alone or by way of their bound ligands. We have found that these major urinary proteins are not only likely to mediate the pregnancy blocking effects of male urine, but that they also convey the strain recognition signal of the(More)
Mice have an olfactory (pheromone) recognition memory located at the first relay in the sensory system. It is acquired with one-trial learning, contingent upon norepinephrine activation at mating, and lasts for several weeks. The mechanism involves Hebbian (association-dependent) changes in synaptic efficacy at dendrodendritic synapses in the accessory(More)
Male mouse urine contains a complex mixture of chemosignals, which signal the presence of a reproductively active male. These have powerful effects as primer pheromones on female reproductive state, including the ability to block pregnancy. Male mouse urine also contains individuality chemosignals that enable the female to recognise her mate and prevent his(More)
Female mice form an olfactory memory to the pheromones of the mating male during a critical period after mating. Previous experiments have shown that the neural changes underlying this memory are located in the accessory olfactory bulb, are dependent on noradrenergic neurotransmission, and most likely involve changes at the mitral-granule cell reciprocal(More)
In the field of sensory perception, one noticeable fact regarding olfactory perception is the existence of several olfactory subsystems involved in the detection and processing of olfactory information. Indeed, the vomeronasal or accessory olfactory system is usually conceived as being involved in the processing of pheromones as it is closely connected to(More)
Olfaction is the dominant sensory modality for most animals and chemosensory communication is particularly well developed in many mammals. Our understanding of this form of communication has grown rapidly over the last ten years since the identification of the first olfactory receptor genes. The subsequent cloning of genes for rodent vomeronasal receptors,(More)