Ibotenic acid-induced lesions of the medial zona incerta decrease lordosis behavior in the female rat.

Article date: 1991/2/1

PubMed ID: 2025390

Journal name: Behavioral neuroscience (ISSN: 0735-7044)


To examine the role of the medial zona incerta (mZI) in female sexual behavior, ovariectomized estrogen- and progesterone-treated female rats were tested for sexual receptivity after bilateral injections of the selective neurotoxin ibotenic acid (3 micrograms/0.3 microliter) directly into the mZI. These injections produced a significant attenuation of lordosis behavior in highly receptive females when compared with saline-injected controls. This decrease in sexual receptivity was also reflected in a significant increase of rejections of male mount attempts. However, these lesions did not abolish the display of lordosis behavior. In addition, the frequency of hopping and darting was decreased in ibotenic acid-injected females when compared with controls. Consistent with previous studies, these lesions also produced a transient impairment of drinking behavior (hypodipsia) typical of rats with large electrolytic lesions of the mZI. This study demonstrates that mZI neurons play a role in mediating sexual receptivity in the female rat. Collectively, these results suggest that in addition to the projection from the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus to the midbrain central gray, the functional integrity of the mZI is of crucial importance for the expression of sexual receptivity in the female rat.

Author List: Dornan W A, Peterson M, Matuszewich L, Malen P

Publication Types: Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Substances mentioned in the article: Ibotenic Acid;

Mesh terms: Animals; Brain Mapping; Female; Ibotenic Acid/pharmacology; Nerve Fibers/drug effects; Neural Pathways/drug effects; Neurons/drug effects; Periaqueductal Gray/drug effects; Rats; Sexual Behavior, Animal/drug effects; Ventromedial Hypothalamic Nucleus/drug effects;

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