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Inhibition of lysine-specific demethylase enzyme disrupts sexually conditioned mate guarding in the female rat


Inhibition of lysine-specific demethylase enzyme disrupts sexually conditioned mate guarding in the female rat

Pfaus, James G. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6886-0053, Holley, Amanda, Joulakian, Lara, Wenzel, Kerstin, Roorda, Sieger and Gonzalez, Brunella (2018) Inhibition of lysine-specific demethylase enzyme disrupts sexually conditioned mate guarding in the female rat. Physiology & Behavior, 196 . pp. 78-83. ISSN 00319384 (In Press)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.08.005


Although female rats are typically described as having a promiscuous mating strategy, if sexually naïve females have their formative sexually rewarding experiences paired with the same male, they will recognize that male and display mate-guarding behavior towards him in the presence of a female competitor. Female rats that display mate guarding behavior also show enhanced activation of oxytocin and vasopressin neurons in the supraoptic and paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus. Here, we examined the potential role that histone demethylation might have in establishing this pair-bonded behavior, and whether the corresponding changes in oxytocin and vasopressin neuronal activation depended on demethylation. To accomplish this, we examined the effect of a lysine-specific demethylase-1 inhibitor to block the action of demethylase enzymes and maintain the methylation state of corresponding genes. Female rats treated with the demethylase inhibitor failed to show any measure of mate guarding, whereas females treated with vehicle displayed mate guarding behavior. Demethylase inhibitor treatment also blocked the ability of familiar male cues to activate oxytocin and vasopressin neurons, whereas vehicle-treated females showed this enhanced activation. These data indicate that histone demethylation is a crucial component in the epigenetic modification of neural circuitry that underlies conditioned mate guarding in female rats. These results are the first to demonstrate the role of histone demethylation underlying changes in mating strategy.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Article
Authors:Pfaus, James G. and Holley, Amanda and Joulakian, Lara and Wenzel, Kerstin and Roorda, Sieger and Gonzalez, Brunella
Journal or Publication:Physiology & Behavior
  • Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)
  • Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé (FRQS Groupe de recherche)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.08.005
ID Code:984382
Deposited By: ALINE SOREL
Deposited On:12 Sep 2018 15:26
Last Modified:12 Sep 2018 15:26


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