Sexual odor discrimination and physiological profiles in adult male rats after a neonatal, short term, reversible nasal obstruction.Brain Res Bull. 2014 May; 104:74-81.BR
The present study was designed to examine behavioral responses (interpreted as preferences) to olfactory cues (nest bedding odor and odors of estrous and anestrus females) in adult male rats after they had a short term reversible, bilateral, nasal obstruction (RbNO) as developing rat pups. These results were compared to behavior of control (untreated) and sham operated male littermates. Behavioral tests and physiological parameters were analyzed 90 days after recovery of nasal breathing. Experiments investigated the time spent in arms or the center of a maze of male rats in response to odors from the nest bedding or from adult females. There were no differences in responses between untreated, sham and RbNO adult male rats to fresh and nest bedding odors. RbNO males spent more time in the center of the maze when given a choice of estrus or anestrus female odors, or bedding odors from untreated or sham operated female rats. In contrast untreated and sham male rats preferred the odors of estrous females and of untreated or sham females. Plasma corticosterone levels in the males increased during the behavioral tests. Plasma testosterone levels were significantly lower in RbNO males compared to untreated males and did not increase during the behavioral tests compared to sham operated males. Males from all groups had similar preferences for the odor of bedding from adult RbNO females. Plasma levels of cholesterol and triglycerides were increased in RbNO adults. In conclusion, short term nasal obstruction in males while juvenile has long term consequences on hormones and behavioral preferences, thus potential partner selection when adult.