Intermale aggression tested in two procedures, using four inbred strains of mice and their reciprocal congenics: Y chromosomal implications

Behav Genet. 1995 Jul;25(4):357-60. doi: 10.1007/BF02197285.


Indications of a role for the nonpseudoautosomal region of the Y chromosome (YNPAR) in intermale attack behavior have been demonstrated by Maxson's group using C57BL/10 (B10) and DBA/1 (D1) inbred mouse strains and their reciprocal congenics. Carlier and Roubertoux' group, using CBA/H (H) and NZB/B1NJ (N) mice, did not find such a YNPAR effect. For the two research groups, however, not only were the parental strains different, but also the rearing conditions and testing methods. The divergent conclusions drawn may therefore have been due either to genetic variation or to environment-related variables. We carried out two experiments to investigate these alternatives. The N and H strains were raised and tested according to the experimental design used by Maxson's group (homogeneous set test) and the D1 and B10 strains were raised and tested according to the experimental design of Carlier and Roubertoux' group (standard opponent test). Considering all studies together, the YNPAR effect appeared in both sets of mice only when using the homogeneous set test. This raises the question of what environmentally related variables are involved in the YNPAR effect on intermale attack. One strong hypothesis is that the different types of opponents in each experimental design send differing olfactory signals, which, in turn, differentially affect the capacity to elicit intermale attack behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / physiology*
  • Agonistic Behavior / physiology
  • Animals
  • Crosses, Genetic*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Social Environment
  • Species Specificity
  • Y Chromosome*