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The development of sexual behavior in the rat: role of preadult nutrition and environmental conditions.

Journal article
Authors Stefan Hansen
K Larsson
Sven G. Carlsson
P Sourander
Published in Developmental psychobiology
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 51-61
ISSN 0012-1630
Publication year 1978
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 51-61
Language en
Keywords Animals, Animals, Newborn, growth & development, Body Weight, Eating, Environment, Female, Handling (Psychology), Male, Maternal-Fetal Exchange, Pregnancy, Rats, Sexual Behavior, Animal, physiology, Sexual Maturation, Social Isolation
Subject categories Psychology


Rats were subjected to pre- and postnatal undernutrition by restricting the food intake of their mothers (U); another group of rats was normally fed (N). Each nutrition group was divided into 3 subgroups by varying the degree of environmental stimulation: animals in the Max group were stimulated by handling and enriched rearing conditions; the Min group rats were subjected to social isolation; rats in the control condition (C) were raised under ordinary laboratory conditions. The onset of sexual activity was not affected in the U-C male rats, but was delayed in both U-Min and N-Min rats. Although no difference existed in the age of puberty between the N-Max and N-C animals, the U-Max rats displayed an advancement of puberty by 7 days in comparison to the U-C rats. Undernutrition did not affect female sexual maturation; however the Max condition delayed this process in both nutrition groups.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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