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Investigation of hormonal modulation of instinctive behaviors mediated by olfaction

Grant number: 16/03641-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2016
Effective date (End): December 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Molecular Biology
Principal researcher:Fabio Papes
Grantee:Pedro Henrique Mello Magalhães
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


For most animals, the olfactory system is the most important sensory system, endowing them with the ability to evaluate foods, toxins, sexual partners and potential predators in the environment. These innate behaviors are elicited through the detection of pheromones and kairomones. Several hormones are able to modulate instinctive behaviors mediated by olfaction, such as parental care. However, the neural and molecular mechanisms behind the hormonal action on such behaviors are not clear. Our preliminary data indicate a direct action of certain hormones on the ability to detect odors and consequently trigger instinctive behaviors. Our group found the expression of vasopressin neuropeptide receptor in the olfactory neurons of the vomeronasal organ of mice. Based on this finding, this research project aims at contributing to elucidate the mechanism behind the action of such hormones on olfaction. Initially, other possible vasopressin receptor genes, along with genes for oxytocin receptors, will be identified by bioinformatic analysis, followed by the analysis of their spatial expression in the olfactory organs of mice. Receptor gene candidates will be further functionally validated regarding their role on the detection of odors and generation of instinctive behaviors.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
NAKAHARA, THIAGO S.; CAMARGO, ANTONIO P.; MAGALHAES, PEDRO H. M.; SOUZA, MATEUS A. A.; RIBEIRO, PEDRO G.; MARTINS-NETTO, PAULO H.; CARVALHO, VINICIUS M. A.; JOSE, JULIANA; PAPES, FABIO. Peripheral oxytocin injection modulates vomeronasal sensory activity and reduces pup-directed aggression in male mice. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 10, n. 1, . (16/05379-6, 15/50371-0, 13/03372-6, 12/21786-0, 16/03641-5, 12/04026-1, 17/01571-2)

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