Cross-generational impact of a male murine pheromone 2-sec-butyl-4,5-dihydrothiazole in female mice

Sachiko Koyama, Helena A. Soini, James Wager-Miller, William R. Alley, Matthew J. Pizzo, Cathleen Rodda, Jeffrey Alberts, Jonathon D. Crystal, Cary Lai, John Foley, Milos V. Novotny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


The current understanding of the activity of mammalian pheromones is that endocrine and behavioural effects are limited to the exposed individuals. Here, we demonstrate that the nasal exposure of female mice to a male murine pheromone stimulates expansion of mammary glands, leading to pro- longed nursing of pups. Subsequent behavioural testing of the pups from pheromone-exposed dams exhibited enhanced learning. Sialic acid components in the milk are known to be involved in brain development. We hypothesized that the offspring might have received more of this key nutrient that promotes brain development. The mRNA for polysialyltransferase, which produces polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecules related to brain development, was increased in the brain of offspring of pheromone-exposed dams at post-natal day 10, while it was not different at embryonic stages, indicating possible differential brain development during early post-natal life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA02
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1811
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015



  • Cognitive function
  • Cross- generational impact
  • Male murine pheromone
  • Mammary gland development
  • Nursing behaviour
  • Polysialyltransferase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Koyama, S., Soini, H. A., Wager-Miller, J., Alley, W. R., Pizzo, M. J., Rodda, C., Alberts, J., Crystal, J. D., Lai, C., Foley, J., & Novotny, M. V. (2015). Cross-generational impact of a male murine pheromone 2-sec-butyl-4,5-dihydrothiazole in female mice. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282(1811), 1-7. [A02].