Phenotyping the males of mouse and rat strains with genetically defined behavioral disturbances in a model of sexual activation. M. A. Tikhonova, T. G. Amstislavskaya


Sexual behavior is one of the biologically highly relevant types of behavior. Sexual arousal, or an initial stage of sexual behavior, is of particular interest since it triggers all the following events but still remains the least known element of this behavior. Sexual dysfunctions are caused by aging, stress, or side effects of psychotropic drugs; they are symptoms of a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Therefore, the study of sexual behavior appears to be an important step in modeling various animal pathologies and the effects of psychotropic drugs. We have performed phenotyping of animals with hereditary predisposition to catalepsy using our previous development, a model of male sexual arousal, and examined the relationship between catalepsy and sexual arousal. The main gene for a high predisposition to catalepsy was shown to be associated with the expression of sexual motivation, but not with the hormonal component of sexual arousal (increase in plasma testosterone levels following exposure to a receptive female). ASC (Antidepressant Sensitive Catalepsy) mice, proposed as a model of depression, had a decreased manifestation of sexual motivation, while male GC (Genetic Catalepsy) strain rats had enhanced sexual motivation. Noteworthy, highly excitable GC strain animals corresponding to the manic pole of bipolar disorders prevail at the current stage of breeding. Our results are in a good agreement with clinical data that indicate reduced libido in depressed patients and hypersexuality in people with bipolar disorder.

About The Authors:

M. A. Tikhonova. Scientific Research Institute of Physiology and Basic Medicine; Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS, Russian Federation, Novosibirsk

T. G. Amstislavskaya. Scientific Research Institute of Physiology and Basic Medicine; Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS, Russian Federation, Novosibirsk


1. Adelson S. Psychodynamics of hypersexuality in children and adolescents with bipolar disorder. J. Am. Acad. Psychoanal. Dyn. Psychiatry. 2010;38:27-45.

2. Alekhina T.A., Petrova G.V., Barykina N.N., Prokudina O.I., Chugui V.F., Sakharov D.G., Kolpakov V.G. Some neuroendocrinological changes in rats of cataleptic strain GC. Influences of ontogenesis and generation of breeding. Ross. Fiziol. Zhurn. Im. I.M. Sechenova — Russian Physiological Journal named after I.M. Sechenov. 2006;92(4):499-505.

3. Amstislavskaya T.G., Gladkikh D.V., Belousova I.I., Maslova L.N., Kolosova N.G. Age-related aspects of male rats sexual behavior with different senescence rates. Zhurn. Vyssh. Nerv. Deiat. Im. I.P. Pavlova — I.P. Pavlov Journal of Higher Nervous Activity, 2010;60(5):552-559.

4. Amstislavskaya T.G., Khrapova M.V. Effect of genotype on behavioral and hormonal components of sexual activation of male mice. Byull. Experim. Biol. Med. — Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2002;133:475-477.

5. Amstislavskaya T.G., Osipov K.V. Sexual activation in male rats: behavioral and hormonal response. Byull. SO RAMN — Bulletin of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. 2003;3:112-114.

6. Amstislavskaya T.G., Popova N.K. Female-induced sexual arousal in male mice and rats: behavioral and testosterone response. Horm. Behav. 2004;46(5):544-550.

7. Amstislavskaya T.G., Maslova L.N., Gladkikh D.V., Belousova I.I., Stefanova N.A., Kolosova N.G. Effects of the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 on sexually motivated behavior in male rats. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 2010;96(2):211-216.

8. Baldwin D.S. Sexual dysfunction associated with antidepressant drugs. Expert. Opin. Drug Saf. 2004;3(5):457-470.

9. Bazovkina D.V., Kulikov A.V., Kondaurova E.M., Popova N.K. Selection for the predisposition to catalepsy enhances depressive-like traits in mice. Genetika — Genetics (Moscow). 2005;41:1222-1228.

10. Belousova I.I., Gladkikh D.V., Zhelezova A.I., Stefanova N.A., Kolosova N.G., Amstislavskaia T.G. Age-related aspects of male reproductive function in rats with normal and accelerated senescence. Ross. Fiziol. Zhurn. Im. I.M. Sechenova — Russian Physiological Journal named after I.M. Sechenov. 2009;95(11):1258-1267.

11. Clayton A.H., Montejo A.L. Major depressive disorder, antidepressants, and sexual dysfunction. Clin. Psychiatry. 2006;67:33-37.

12. Ferreira-Nuno A., Overstreet D.H., Morales-Otal A., Velazquez-Moctezuma J. Masculine sexual behavior features in the Flinders sensitive and resistant line rats. Behav. Brain. Res. 2002;128:113-119.

13. Gronli J., Murison R., Fiske E., Bjorvatn B., Sorensen E., Portas C.M., Ursin R. Effects of chronic mild stress on sexual behavior, locomotor activity and consumption of sucrose and saccharine solutions. Physiol. Behav. 2005;84(4):571-577.

14. Henry S.J., Huang Y., Wynne A., Hanke M., Himler J., Bailey M.T., Sheridan J.F., Godbout P.J. Minocycline attenuates lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammation, sickness behavior, and anhedonia. J. Neuroinflam. 2008;5(15):1-14.

15. Kolpakov V.G., Kulikov A.V., Alekhina T.A., Chugui V.F., Petrenko O.I., Barykina N.N. Catatonia or depression: the GC rat strain as an animal model of psychopathology. Genetika — Genetics (Moscow). 2004;40(6):827-834.

16. Kulikov A.V., Kolpakov V.G., Popova N.K. The genetic cataleptic (GC) rat strain as a model of depressive disorders. Animal Models in Biological Psychiatry. Ed. A. Kaluev. N.Y.: Nova Sci. Publ. Inc., 2006.

17. Kulikov A.V., Bazovkina D.V., Kondaurova E.M., Popova N.K. Genetic structure of hereditary catalepsy in mice. Genes Brain Behav. 2008;7(4):506-512.

18. Pfaus J.G. Revisiting the concept of sexual motivation. Annu. Rev. Sex Res. 1999;10:120-156.

19. Riazanova M.A., Igonina T.N., Alekhina T.A., Prokudina O.I. The increase in the proportion of nervous animals bred for catatonia: the participation of central adrenoreceptors in catatonic reactions. Genetika — Genetics (Moscow). 2012;48:1328-1335.

20. Roney J.R., Lukaszewski A.W., Simmons Z.L. Rapid endocrine responses of young men to social interactions with young women. Horm. Behav. 2007;52(3):326-333.

21. Rösing D., Klebingat K.J., Berberich H.J., Bosinski H.A., Loewit K., Beier K.M. Male sexual dysfunction: diagnosis and treatment from a sexological and interdisciplinary perspective. Dtsch. Arztebl. Int. 2009;106:821-828.

22. Sanberg P.R., Bunsey M.D., Giordano M., Norman A.B. The catalepsy test: Its ups and downs. Behav. Neurosci. 1988;102:748-759.

23. Tikhonova M.A., Otroshchenko E.A., Kulikov A.V. Effects of chronic fluoxetine treatment on manifestation of sexual motivation and social behavior in mice of ASC line. Ross. Fiziol. Zhurn. Im. I.M. Sechenova — Russian Physiological Journal named after I.M. Sechenov. 2010;96(2):163-172.

24. Tikhonova M.A., Yu C.H., Kolosova N.G., Gerlinskaya L.A., Maslennikova S.O., Yudina A.V., Amstislavskaya T.G., Ho Y.J. Comparison of behavioral and biochemical deficits in rats with hereditary defined or D-galactose-induced accelerated senescence: evaluating the protective effects of diosgenin. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 2014; 120:7-16.

25. Wang D., Noda Y., Tsunekawa H., Zhou Y., Miyazaki M., Senzaki K., Nabeshima T. Behavioural and neurochemical features of olfactory bulbectomized rats resembling depression with comorbid anxiety. Behav. Brain Res. 2007;178:262-273.

This entry was posted in Tom 19-4. Bookmark the permalink.