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 Discovery of a Key Regulatory Gene in Cardiac Valve Formation
24.05.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Carcinogenic soot particles from GDI engines
24.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

Information integration and artificial intelligence for better diagnosis and therapy decisions

24.05.2017 | Information Technology

CRTD receives 1.56 Mill. Euro BMBF-funding for retinal disease research

24.05.2017 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>