Zoological Studies

Vol. 58, 2019

(update: 2019.11.18)

Estradiol Treatment during Perinatal Development Alters Adult Partner Preference, Mating Behavior and the Estrogen Receptor α and β in the Female Mandarin Voles (Microtus mandarinus)

Feng-Qin He*, Bing Yu, Quan-Li Xiang, Xiao-Xia Cheng, and Zi-Jian Wang


Key Laboratory of Natural Product Development and Anticancer Innovative Drug Research in Qinling, Xi'an; Genetic Engineering Laboratory, College of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Xi’an University, Xi’an 710065, China. *Ccorrespondence: Tel: 86-29-88241902. Fax: 86-29-88253976. E-mail: hefengqin68220@163.com

Received 12 July 2019 / Accepted 5 November 2019
Communicated by Jian-Nan Liu

In the process of development, many respects of behavior, including partner preferences and sexual conduct, are “organized” by estradiol. This study was aimed at analyzing these processes in the mandarin vole (Microtus mandarinus), a novel experimental mammal with strong monogamous pair bonds. Female pups were treated on a daily basis with an oil vehicle (FC) or β-Estradiol (E2, FT) from prenatal day 14 to postnatal day 10. Male pups were treated daily with the oil vehicle only (MC). Partner preferences, sexual conduct and estrogen receptor α (ERα) and β (ERβ) expression were examined when animals were 3 months old. FT and MC groups showed female-directed partner preferences and masculinized behavior. ERα-immunoreactive neurons (ERα-IRs) in the bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BNST) and medial amygdaloid nucleus (MeA) was greater in FT females than MC males, and there was no significant difference in the number of ERα-IRs between FT and FC females. No difference was found for ERα-IRs in the preoptic area (mPOA) and ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) of FT females and MC males, and they were significantly fewer than FC females. ERβ-immunoreactive neurons (ERβ-IRs) in these four brain regions did not perinatal development alters the ERβ/ERα ratio in different brain regions and this may be between FT females and MC males. However, the number of ERβ-IRs in FT females and MC males were greater than in FC females. We propose that estradiol treatment during responsible for adult partner preferences and mating behavior.

Key words: Estrogen receptor α (ERα), Estrogen receptor β (ERβ), Partner preference, Defeminization, Masculinization.

Citation: He FQ, Yu B, Xiang QL, Cheng XX, Wang ZJ. 2019. Estradiol treatment during perinatal development alters adult partner preference, mating behavior and the estrogen receptor α and β in the female mandarin voles (Microtus mandarinus). Zool Stud 58: 0ll. doi:-.