Discovered a chemical that affects the sexual preferences


25/03/2011

According to the information scientists from China, a chemical component in the brain is able to control sexual preference in mice. As stated in an article published in the journal "Nature", mouse males bred without serotonin in the body, lose their preference for females. Researchers say that the neurotransmitter first demonstrated its importance in sexual preference in mammals. But experts have warned about the dangers of jumping to conclusions about human sexuality.

A research team led first male mouse whose brain was not receptive to serotonin. A series of experiments showed that these mice had lost sexual interest in females, which is so clearly showed unmodified males. When the "cooled down" males given the choice of partner, they showed absolutely no preference for either males or to females. Any potential between serotonin and human sexual preferences must be considered negligible.

When only the male was admitted into the cage, the modified males were more prone to having to respond properly to the male and publish "courtship" is usually shown to attract females than unmodified males.

Similar results were obtained when the other group of mice has been bred. These mice lacking the gene called tryptonphan hydroxylase 2, which is required for the production of serotonin. However, preference females could be "restored" by injection of serotonin in the brain of rodents.

Scientists at the end of the study concluded the following: "Serotoninergic signals play an important role in the formation of sexual preference in mouse males. First time we have learned that the neurotransmitters in the brain is so important in the formation of mammalian sexual preference." First it was thought that the sexual behavior of mice is dependent solely on the smell of animals.

Professor Keith Kendrick (Keith Kendrick), neuroscientist from the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, said the following: "From the point of view of understanding and definitions of sexual preference / orientation of the person we are certainly less inclined to believe the impact of odors that context. There is some very limited evidence about altered responses to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) in the brains of gay men. But we used psychotropic drugs that either increase or decrease serotonin function for some time, and if the effects of sexual arousal, impulsivity and aggression were developed, no effects with respect sexual preference / orientation was not observed. In this case, therefore, any potential relationship between serotonin and human sexual preference should be considered unlikely. "

Original: BBC Translation: M. Potter


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