Scientists have figured out which brain cells are responsible for sex and aggression
American scientists have discovered in mouse brain neural connection between the rear division of the amygdala and the hypothalamus, which is responsible in males for sexual desire and aggression. The study is published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
Neurophysiologists have long known that the posterior amygdala, or the amygdala has a huge impact on social behavior, but its connection with sexual desire, until recently, was not known.
Scientists from the Medical center Langon at new York University and the University of California in San Diego observed in mice as there are two separate groups of brain cells that provide connections between the posterior section of the tonsils and parts of the hypothalamus responsible for sex and aggression.
The results of the experiment showed that these neurons in males they serve as a kind of "circuit breakers" States the desire to mate and aggression, as well as send signals between parts of the brain, which together regulate emotions, including fear and anxiety.
Maintaining the signal in one of the groups — MPN signaling cell led to the fact that males continued to aggressively courting unreceptive females, which they usually do, and can mate several times in a row.
Blocking another group VMHvl-signal cells did rodents are more relaxed, and their activation — on the contrary, the mice became extremely aggressive, attacking even their female friends and males.
"Our results provide a new understanding of the important role that plays back the amygdala to stimulate the social behavior of men, such as sex and aggression" — are in the press release of the medical faculty of new York University, the head of research Dr. Takashi Yamaguchi (Takashi Yamaguchi) of the Medical center Langon and the Institute of neuroscience.
In the course of the study, the researchers observed the activity of cells in the tonsil and neighboring hypothalamus, where the structure of MPN and VMHvl, more than 100 of male mice.
The authors measured how frequently nerve cells are naturally launched signals throughout the day animals. They found that MPN-signaling cells were most active during sex, while the VMHvl signaling the cells were most active during the confrontation with other males.
Then for each of the two groups of cells, researchers inhibited or activated neurons, and observed how often the mice were trying to find a mate or to attack the unknown male placed in their cage.
"Our new understanding of how cells induce sexual and aggressive behavior, should help us to choose the best target brain in the development of future treatment methods of mental disorders," says first author of the article Give Lin of the Medical center Langon and the Institute of neuroscience.
The researchers plan to continue their experiments to find out how there are two identified groups of nerve cells in female rodents, as well as how you can transfer the results of observations of mice in person.