Friday, September 7, 2007

Of Mice and Men

from Shanghai via James Fallows,who is feeling harmonius since the posted news.......

The Stress of Relaxation

Science 7 September 2007:
Vol. 317. no. 5843, pp. 1331 - 1332
DOI: 10.1126/science.1148142Two modes of activation explain how an enzyme controls blood vessel responses to oxidative stress, hormones, and neurotransmitters.

Male mice appear unable to recognize the sexual identity......

Research Articles

Loss of Sex Discrimination and Male-Male Aggression in Mice Deficient for TRP2

Lisa Stowers,1 Timothy E. Holy,2* Markus Meister,2 Catherine Dulac,1dagger Georgy Koentges1ddagger

The mouse vomeronasal organ (VNO) is thought to mediate social behaviors and neuroendocrine changes elicited by pheromonal cues.

The molecular mechanisms underlying the sensory response to pheromones and the behavioral repertoire induced through the VNO are not fully characterized.
Using the tools of mouse genetics and multielectrode recording, we demonstrate that the sensory activation of VNO neurons requires TRP2, a putative ion channel of the transient receptor potential family that is expressed exclusively in these neurons. Moreover, we show that male mice deficient in TRP2 expression fail to display male-male aggression, and they initiate sexual and courtship behaviors toward both males and females.
Our study suggests that, in the mouse, sensory activation of the VNO is essential for sex discrimination of conspecifics and thus ensures gender-specific behavior.


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