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Title: Pheromonal modification of development and behaviour in female albino mice (Mus musculus)
Author: Fullerton, Clare
ISNI:       0000 0001 3485 4475
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1978
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Three series of experiments are described. In the first two, young female mice of the T.O. strain were exposed before weaning to the indirect physical presence of 12 adult males, 12 adult females or, in the control group, to the absence of any adult conspecifics other than the mother. It was found that young female mice exposed to adult males developed more rapidly than mice in the other two groups. They weighed more, physical features of development such as the opening of the auditory canal and of the eyes occurred earlier and this difference in the pace of development was also reflected in the ages at which certain reflexes and early responses developed and then dropped out of the animal's repertoire, Females exposed to adult males became sexually mature at an earlier age, bore litters earlier and were also found to be more active in an open field when tested as adults. In the third study, young female mice were exposed to the odours of soiled sawdust from cages housing 12 adult males or 12 adult females. Control groups were exposed to; odours from clean damp sawdust. In this study the behaviour of the mothers was also investigated but no clear-cut differences were found between treatment groups which would indicate that the effects are more likely to be directly on the young. This time no consistent differences in weight were found between the mice in the different treatment groups and few differences in the ages at which developmental features occurred. Differences were found, however, in activity and in sexual development, The young female mice exposed to odours of adult males were more active than the mice in the other treatment groups tooth at 21 days of age and when tested in an open field as adults. They also matured sexually earlier, bore their litters at an earlier age and reared pups which were heavier at weaning. It would appear, therefore, that at least some of the effects oh development and behaviour can be produced in response to olfactory cues although the effects are greater when physical contact between young females and adults is possible, even if this is only indirect. These effects are not immediate, becoming manifest towards the end of the second week of life but do appear to be long lasting.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available