On the organization of partner preference behavior in female Wistar rats.

Abstract

The possible prenatal organizing effects of testosterone (T) on adult sexual partner preference, i.e., sexual orientation in female rats, were studied through prenatal exposure (days 11-22) of female fetuses to the antiandrogens flutamide (Sch 13521; 4'-nitro-3'-trifluoromethylisobutyranilide; 5 or 10 mg/day; Experiment 1) or anandron [RU 23908; 5,5-dimethyl-3-(4-nitro-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)- 2,4-imidazolidinedione; 35 mg/kg/day; Experiment 2]. The neonatal organizing effects of T were further studied by giving T, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or oil within 9 h after birth to female pups (Experiment 3). In adulthood sexual orientation was ascertained, after ovariectomy followed by hormone treatment, in an automated open field (AOF), with stimulus animals behind wire mesh, and in a 3-compartment box (3-CB), with stimulus animals tethered. When given the choice between an estrous female and a sexually active male in the AOF, flutamide females, as well as controls, preferred the male partner. After long-term T treatment and 3 weekly pair-tests with an estrous female, flutamide females as well as controls switched their preference to the estrous female partner. In anadron females similar results were obtained. Thus the prenatal antiandrogens had no significant effect on sexual orientation in female rats. This suggests that adult sexual orientation in female rats is not organized prenatally through endogenous T. The change in preference after sexual experience corroborates earlier findings from our laboratory. When given the choice between an estrous female and a sexually active male in the 3-CB (sexual interaction with incentives possible), neonatally DHTP-treated females preferred the male; neonatally TP- or oil-treated females showed no preference.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Cite this paper

@article{Brand1991OnTO, title={On the organization of partner preference behavior in female Wistar rats.}, author={Theodore Brand and A. Koos Slob}, journal={Physiology & behavior}, year={1991}, volume={49 3}, pages={549-55} }