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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Presence of Hypothalamic Neuropeptides in the Vomeronasal Organ of the Domestic Pig, Sus Scrofa

item Weesner, Gary

Submitted to: Society for Neuroscience Abstracts and Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 15, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The vomeronasal organ (VNO) in the pig is believed to be a mediator of pheromonal communication in the pig. Behavioral changes, such as aggression, attraction, and sexual receptivity can be induced by chemicals present in porcine urine and saliva. Though the VNO may have an important influence on behavior in the pig, very little is known about potential neurotransmitter systems in this issue. VNO tissues were collected from four castrated males at the time of slaughter. The tissues were immediately frozen at -80 C until peptide extraction with acidified methanol. Extracts were dried under negative pressure then rehydrated in PBS. Tissue extracts were quantified for beta-endorphin (BEP), corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH), and luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) by RIA. Mean content of CRF was 150.1+/37.0 pg/VNO while LHRH averaged 83.4+/21.9 pg/VNO. Tissue content of GHRH and beta-endorphin, if present, were below the detection limits of the assays (33 pg and 26 pg, respectively). All four peptides were abundantly present in hypothalamic tissue extracts. That the VNO contains the neuropeptides CRF and LHRH is novel and suggestive of an intricate peptidergic system that may be involved in mediating pheromonal effects on behavior in the pig.

Last Modified: 5/5/2015
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