01_Pheromones Questions

01_Pheromones Questions - Reading Guide : Read all sections...

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Discussion 2: Pheromones and Olfaction MCB 167 Spring 2010. For Discussion Sections Feb 5. Overview Pheromones are odorant molecules that mediate species-specific chemical communication, including finding and recognizing a mate, recognizing kin vs. non-kin individuals, and regulating social behavior. The TRPC2 ion channel is expressed in the mouse vomeronasal organ and is necessary for VNO function. This paper addresses the interesting problem of how a functioning VNO contributes to behavior. The authors examine mice lacking TRPC2 and find that females display a mating behavioral switch: they now behave like wild-type males in a number of sex-specific behaviors. This paper suggests that neural circuits for male behaviors are latent in the female brain. Reading : T Kimchi et al, 2007, A functional circuit underlying male sexual behaviour in the female mouse brain. Nature 448:1009-13.
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Unformatted text preview: Reading Guide : Read all sections and all figures. Do not get too bogged down in the details of the behavioral assays. Please answer the following questions in 1 paragraph each. Bring your written answers to section. We will use them as the basis of discussion, and you will turn them in at the end of section. Question 1. How do TRP mutant females differ in their behavior to females? To males? Question 2. What controls do the authors use to show that behaviors arent due to developmental defects or hormonal changes? Question 3. What is the evidence that pathways for male and female behaviors are present in the brain? Question 4. These experiments suggest that TRPC2 channels in the VNO are necessary for female-typical behavior. How would you design an experiment to investigate whether activation of the channels is also sufficient to induce the behavior?...
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