Multisensory Logic of Infant-Directed Aggression by Males.

TitleMultisensory Logic of Infant-Directed Aggression by Males.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsIsogai, Yoh, Zheng Wu, Michael I. Love, Michael Ho- Young Ahn, Dhananjay Bambah-Mukku, Vivian Hua, Karolina Farrell, and Catherine Dulac
Date Published2018 Dec 13
KeywordsAggression, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Gene Deletion, Male, Mice, Mice, Mutant Strains, Vomeronasal Organ

Newborn mice emit signals that promote parenting from mothers and fathers but trigger aggressive responses from virgin males. Although pup-directed attacks by males require vomeronasal function, the specific infant cues that elicit this behavior are unknown. We developed a behavioral paradigm based on reconstituted pup cues and showed that discrete infant morphological features combined with salivary chemosignals elicit robust male aggression. Seven vomeronasal receptors were identified based on infant-mediated activity, and the involvement of two receptors, Vmn2r65 and Vmn2r88, in infant-directed aggression was demonstrated by genetic deletion. Using the activation of these receptors as readouts for biochemical fractionation, we isolated two pheromonal compounds, the submandibular gland protein C and hemoglobins. Unexpectedly, none of the identified vomeronasal receptors and associated cues were specific to pups. Thus, infant-mediated aggression by virgin males relies on the recognition of pup's physical traits in addition to parental and infant chemical cues.

Alternate JournalCell
Original PublicationMultisensory logic of infant-directed aggression by males.
PubMed ID30550786
PubMed Central IDPMC6558521
Grant ListR01 DC013087 / DC / NIDCD NIH HHS / United States
R01 DC003903 / DC / NIDCD NIH HHS / United States
R01 HD082131 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
/ / Wellcome Trust / United Kingdom
P01 CA142538 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
/ HHMI_ / Howard Hughes Medical Institute / United States
T32 CA009337 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
K99 HD092542 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States