Delay of sexual maturation in female house mice by exposure to grouped females or urine from grouped females

J Reprod Fertil. 1977 Sep;51(1):77-81. doi: 10.1530/jrf.0.0510077.


The experiments examined the timing, duration and possible enhancement effects of group contact on the delay of sexual maturation produced in prepubertal female house mice by urine from grouped females. One or three days of pheromone stimulation at specified ages during the first 2 weeks after weaning was not sufficient to delay puberty in females caged singly. However, pheromone treatment for 7 days, beginning during the first week after weaning, did significantly delay the onset of first vaginal oestrus relative to control females treated with water. Both the timing and duration of pheromone stimulation appear to be critical factors affecting pheromone-induced delay of sexual maturation. Mean ages at first oestrus for females housed with a group of 7 other females, for 3 or 7 days at specified ages during the first 2 weeks after weaning, did not differ from mean ages recorded with urine stimulation only. Contact with other females does not appear to alter or enhance the delay-of-maturation effect achieved with urine stimulation. In all these respects the maturation-delay pheromone of grouped female mice appears to differ from the puberty-accelerating pheromone of male mice.

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Estrus
  • Female
  • Mice / physiology*
  • Pheromones / pharmacology*
  • Population Density
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual Maturation / drug effects*
  • Time Factors
  • Urine


  • Pheromones