Partial mediation of strange-male-induced pregnancy blocks by sexual activity in mice (Mus musculus).
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Novel male house mice (Mus musculus) can disrupt early pregnancy in females. Previous research focused on pheromonal rather than behavioral mediation of this phenomenon. In Experiment 1, novel males were housed with females shortly after insemination. Litter production was negatively correlated with the males' sexual activity. Experiment 2 replicated this finding with a larger sample. In Experiment 3, females were exposed to castrated males. Testosterone-treated males completely blocked pregnancy, whereas untreated males did not. In Experiment 4, castrated testosterone-treated males were presented at intervals after insemination. Pregnancy was totally blocked at Days 3 and 4 and mostly blocked at Days 1 and 2 but was less affected at Days 5 and 6. In Experiment 5, females were exposed through a wire-mesh grid to castrated males. Pregnancies occurred in all conditions, even with testosterone-treated males. These data suggest a role for sexual activity in male-induced pregnancy blocks.
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