The olfactory system, not the terminal nerve, functions as the primary chemosensory pathway mediating responses to sex pheromones in male goldfish.

I. Fujita, P. W. Sorensen, N. E. Stacey, T. J. Hara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

Studies of the neural mechanisms underlying responsiveness to sex pheromones in male goldfish suggest that, contrary to a currently popular hypothesis, the olfactory system (cranial nerve 1), and not the terminal nerve (cranial nerve 0), mediates chemosensory responses to pheromones. When the olfactory epithelium of male goldfish was exposed to two identified sex pheromones, 17 alpha, 20 beta-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one and a mixture of prostaglandin F2 alpha and its metabolite 15-keto-prostaglandin F2 alpha, the spontaneous activity of olfactory neurons located in the medical portion of the olfactory bulb changed, while activity of terminal nerve cell bodies did not. A variety of other synthetic and natural odors also failed to alter the activity of terminal nerve cell bodies as did visual, magnetic, thermal, and auditory cues. Terminal nerve activity was, however, inhibited by tactile stimulation, suggesting that this system may have a modulatory role associated with the physical interactions that characterize goldfish spawning behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-321
Number of pages9
JournalBrain, behavior and evolution
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1991

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