Proteins in urine scent marks of male house mice extend the longevity of olfactory signals

  title={Proteins in urine scent marks of male house mice extend the longevity of olfactory signals},
  author={Jane L. Hurst and Duncan H. L. Robertson and U. Tolladay and Robert J. Beynon},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},
The binding of volatile semiochemicals to lipocalin proteins in many mammalian scent marks may provide a gradual release of volatile ligands, extending the life of airborne odour signals. We tested this by using menadione to displace semiochemical ligands from major urinary proteins (MUPs) in urine streaks obtained from adult male house mice, Mus domesticus, and assessed the responses of other males to these and to intact urine marks as they aged. Dominant male mice scent-mark their territories… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Unravelling the chemical basis of competitive scent marking in house mice

Competitive countermarking is stimulated by proteins or by nonvolatile protein-ligand complexes in male urine, while release of volatile ligands attracts attention to a competitor's scent marks.

Airborne molecules released from male mouse urine affect female exploratory behavior

The data show that male urine airborne molecules, effective at very low doses, mediate initial stimulus exploration by female mice.

Rodent Urinary Proteins: Genetic Identity Signals and Pheromones

Comparative studies of other rodents are starting to reveal considerable diversity in concentration, sexual ­dimorphism and polymorphic complexity of lipocalins in scent signals; these differences are likely to reflect species-specific requirements for recognition and ­assessment through scent.

Mice recognize recent urine scent marks by the molecular composition.

The principal component based on 2,4-dehydro-exo-brevicomin, linalool, and 2-sec-butyl-4,5-dihydrothiazole correlated negatively with countermarking and positively with the sniffing behavior, suggesting a semantic feature of fresh male mouse urine.

The Role of Urinary Proteins and Volatiles in Competitive Scent Marking Among Male House Mice

Female mice can also use these scent marks to assess the quality of potential mates, preferring dominant male territory owners that counter-mark scent mark challenges from competitors and which ensure that their own marks are always the freshest in the area.

Regulation of volatile and non-volatile pheromone attractants depends upon male social status

Findings show that once male house mice become territorial and socially dominant, they upregulate the amount and types of excreted MUPs, which increases the intensities of volatiles and the attractiveness of their urinary scent to sexually receptive females.

The scent of urine spots of male mice, Mus musculus: Changes in chemical composition over time.

The release of the odorants in the headspace of a urine spot may code and transmit information on the deposition time of a dominant male mouse.

The ownership signature in mouse scent marks is involatile

Male house mice advertise their territory ownership through urinary scent marks and use individual–specific patterns of major urinary proteins (MUPs) to discriminate between their own scent and that

Reproductive endocrine patterns and volatile urinary compounds of Arctictis binturong: discovering why bearcats smell like popcorn

It is suggested that hormonal action and potentially complex chemical reactions mediate communication of the binturong’s signature scent and convey information about sex and reproductive state.



The priming effects of urine substrate marks on interactions between male house mice, Mus musculus domesticus Schwarz & Schwarz

This system appears to provide mice with up-to-date information concerning dynamic shifts in individual dominance and territory location, and individual males use this information to avoid a marked area, to evade a male likely to attack, or to challenge the dominance of a competitor, according to their own status and previous experience.

Urinary marking in male house mice: responses to novel environmental and social stimuli.

Urine marking in populations of wild house mice Mus domesticus rutty. I. Communication between males

  • J. Hurst
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Animal Behaviour
  • 1990

The functions of urine marking in a free-living population of house mice, Mus domesticus Rutty

  • J. Hurst
  • Environmental Science
    Animal Behaviour
  • 1987

Quantitative chromatographic profiling of odours associated with dominance in male laboratory mice

The results demonstrate that murine semiochemicals are accessible to quantitative analysis at the level of the individual and also demonstrate that aggressive initiator ranks and encounter winner ranks are compatible with each other.

A human axillary odorant is carried by apolipoprotein D.

The results suggest a remarkable similarity between human axillary secretions and nonhuman mammalian odor sources, where lipocalins have been shown to carry the odoriferous signals used in pheromonal communication.

Aversive potency of urine from dominant and subordinate male laboratory mice (Mus musculus): Resolution of a conflict

The present findings confirmed reports that the urine of dominant male mice was aversive, whereas that of their cohabiting subordinate partners was not, and identified Sawyer's procedure of housing winners and losers in individual cages as the likely reason for his failure to replicate reports that subordinate male urine lacked aversive properties.

Odor-based discrimination between noncontiguous demes of wild mus

House mice ( Mus musculus ) avoid odors of members of neighboring social groups, or demes, with which they share common territorial boundaries, and recognition of group-odor complexes may be a factor in population dynamics of rodents.

Avoidance of Scent-Marked Areas Depends On the Intruder's Body Size

The prediction that male house mice of low body weight should be more likely to avoid scent-marked areas than males of high body weight was tested, and heavy mice were attracted to the artificially marked substrate.