Lesions in the medial posterior region of the BST impair sexual behavior in sexually experienced and inexperienced male rats

Brain Res Bull. 1995;36(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/0361-9230(94)00118-k.


Previous studies have showed that lesions in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis of experienced male rats impair some parameters of sexual behavior. The aim of this study was to examine the contribution of the medial posterior region of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTMP), a sexually dimorphic region of this nucleus that pertains to the vomeronasal system, to the modulation of sexual behavior of the male rat. Small electrolytic bilateral lesions in the BSTMP were made in male heterosexual experienced and inexperienced rats. Sham lesioned animals were also tested as a control of the effects of the general surgical procedures. Behavioral tests were then performed to obtain standard measures of masculine sexual behavior. Our results indicate that the sexually experienced male rats with lesioned BSTMPs showed increases in the number of mounts and the number of intromissions and, consequently, in ejaculation latency. In contrast, the sexually naive male rats showed increases in first mount and intromission latencies and in ejaculation latency, but the latter occurred due to increases in the interintromission intervals. This group also showed low correlations between olfactory investigation of the anogenital area of the female and initiation and maintenance of copulatory behavior. The results suggest that sexual experience obtained in the very artificial conditions of laboratory tests could supply some of the cues provided by the BSTMP in the process of sensorial integration, which we hypothesize modulates the initiation and pacing of copulation. However, sexual experience does not apparently supply any other kinds of cues provided or processed in the BSTMP that are involved in modulating the elicitation of intromissions and ejaculations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Copulation / physiology*
  • Ejaculation / physiology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Nasal Cavity / physiology
  • Nasal Septum / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reaction Time
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Smell
  • Thalamus / physiology*