Enhancement of adult neurogenesis in female mice was previously demonstrated through exposure to soiled bedding from males, although the identity of relevant chemosignals has remained unknown. The farnesenes and SBT (2-sec-butyl-4,5-dihydrothiazole) are male murine pheromones that dominant males secrete at higher levels. Previous studies have shown that they induce oestrus in female mice. We have recently shown that these pheromones strongly increase cell proliferation in the SVZ (subventricular zone) of adult female mice. In addition, we found that a female murine pheromone, 2,5-dimethylpyrazine, facilitates similar changes in males. 2,5-dimethylpyrazine is a female pheromone that is secreted when females are housed in large groups and it was originally found to suppress oestrus in females. We found that it does not have suppressive effect on the cell proliferation in the SVZ of females. Similarly, male murine pheromones, SBT and the farnesenes, do not show a suppressive effect on the cell proliferation in the SVZ of males. Our results demonstrated that pheromonal communication between males and females has strong stimulatory effect on both the reproductive physiology and brain cell proliferation, but intrasex pheromonal exchanges do not reduce progenitor proliferation in these brain regions.

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