Intracranial androgenic activation of male-typical behaviors in house mice: motivation versus performance

Behav Brain Res. 1994 Feb 28;60(2):141-9. doi: 10.1016/0166-4328(94)90141-4.


Castrated male mice were bilaterally implanted with 27 ga cannulae containing testosterone into either the septum, medial preoptic area (MPO), or corticomedial amygdala. One additional group of castrates received no hormone and another received only systemic testosterone via subcutaneous silastic capsules. All males were subsequently tested for ultrasonic mating vocalizations, urine marking, mounting behavior, aggression and gender preference, all of which are androgen-dependent, male-typical behaviors. In general castrates receiving no hormone performed these behaviors at low levels and animals receiving systemic testosterone performed the behaviors at normal male-typical levels. Ultrasonic vocalizations in response to female urine were activated by MPO implants. Urine marking in response to female urine appeared to be partially activated only with MPO implants. Very little mounting or fighting were seen in the brain implanted groups. Gender preference (for females over males) was restored with MPO implants and appeared to be partially activated with septal implants. The seminal vesicles of the castrates receiving brain implants were not significantly different from those receiving no hormone indicating that little or no implanted hormone was exiting the brain into general circulation. The implications of these findings for the neuroanatomy of sexual motivation and performance are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / physiology
  • Amygdala / drug effects
  • Amygdala / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Copulation / drug effects
  • Copulation / physiology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Motivation*
  • Preoptic Area / drug effects
  • Preoptic Area / physiology
  • Receptors, Androgen / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Androgen / physiology
  • Septum Pellucidum / drug effects
  • Septum Pellucidum / physiology
  • Sex Attractants / urine
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Testosterone / pharmacology*
  • Testosterone / physiology
  • Ultrasonics
  • Vocalization, Animal / drug effects
  • Vocalization, Animal / physiology


  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Sex Attractants
  • Testosterone