Identification of a potential ejaculation generator in the spinal cord

Science. 2002 Aug 30;297(5586):1566-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1073885.

Abstract

We tested the significance of a population of lumbar spinothalamic cells for male sexual behavior in rats. These cells are positioned to relay ejaculation-related signals from reproductive organs to the brain, and they express neurokinin-1 receptors. Ablation of these neurons by the selective toxin SSP-saporin resulted in a complete disruption of ejaculatory behavior. In contrast, other components of sexual behavior remained intact. These results suggest that this population of spinothalamic cells plays a pivotal role in generation of ejaculatory behavior and may be part of a spinal ejaculation generator.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ejaculation / physiology*
  • Female
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Lumbosacral Region
  • Male
  • Neural Conduction
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Neurokinin-1 / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / pharmacology
  • Ribosome Inactivating Proteins, Type 1
  • Saporins
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Spinal Cord / anatomy & histology
  • Spinal Cord / cytology
  • Spinal Cord / physiology*
  • Thalamus / cytology
  • Thalamus / physiology*

Substances

  • Receptors, Neurokinin-1
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Ribosome Inactivating Proteins, Type 1
  • SSP-SAP fusion protein, recombinant
  • Saporins