Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sex chromosome genes influence aggression andmaternal behavior, say UVa researchers

08.03.2006


It has been well documented that, across human cultures and in most mammals, males are usually more aggressive and less nurturing than females. It’s simple to blame male hormones, like testosterone, for male behavior such as aggression. But maybe it’s in our genes, too.



Indeed such social behavior also has a genetic basis, according to new research on mice by neuroscientists at the University of Virginia Health System. “The differences in sex chromosomes, XX versus XY, are also responsible for differences in adult behavior,” explained Emilie Rissman, PhD, a professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics at UVa, who studied aggression and maternal behavior in genetically engineered mice. “Sex chromosome genes may not be the whole story that determines how aggressive or motherly we are, but they are a partof it.”

Rissman’s work is published in the Feb. 22 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, found online at www.jneurosci.org. Co-authors on the paper are scientists at the University of California Los Angeles and the National Institute for Medical Research in London, England.


Using mouse models, Rissman and the research team uncoupled the testis-determining gene Sry on the male Y chromosome from other sex chromosome genes. The presence of Sry leads to the development of the testes and high levels of androgens in males, which is partly responsible for aggression. Sry was deleted from the Y chromosome and replaced by a transgenic copy.

In their experiments, the researchers compared mice with or without the Sry gene (either males with testes or ovary-bearing females) to mice with the XX versus XY sex chromosomes. They tested how long it took for mice to become aggressive when another mouse was placed in their home territory. The researchers also clocked the time it took to exhibit spontaneous parental behavior by retrieving a pup.

The researchers found that the sex chromosome complement, as well as gonadal sex differences, influences behavior. Gonadal male mice (those with Sry with either the XX or XY sex complement) behaved most aggressively. But females with the Y chromosome were aggressive as well. Females with the XX complement were not aggressive, but in contrast they exhibited high levels of maternal behavior by picking up pups and building nests.

“We know that hormones are important for development of sex differences in brain and behavior,” Rissman said. “But this is another component of the sex difference that needs to be examined.” In all probability, Rissman said, genes and hormones interact with each other, especially in males, because they have testosterone and the Y chromosome. “It is our hope that these data could lead to the discovery of new genetic bases for aggression and parental behavior in other animals, including humans.”

Bob Beard | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.virginia.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Immune Defense Without Collateral Damage
23.01.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika
23.01.2017 | D'Or Institute for Research and Education

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>