[en] We have previously shown that male mice carrying a targeted mutation in the Cyp19 gene which encodes the aromatase enzyme (aromatase knockout or ArKO), showed a reduced interest to investigate volatile odors from conspecifics in a Y-maze. We asked here whether the incentive value of reproductively relevant odors is reduced in ArKO males by comparing the ability of male wild-type (WT) and ArKO mice to learn a conditioned place preference using exposure to reproductively relevant odors as incentive stimuli. When the presence of an anesthetized estrous female or soiled bedding from estrous females was used as incentive stimuli, only WT and not male ArKO mice showed conditioned place preference suggesting that the reward value of these stimuli is reduced in ArKO males. However, ArKO males showed conditioned place preference when cocaine was used as incentive stimulus, indicating that ArKO males are able to learn the conditioned place preference procedure. These results thus further confirm the important role of estradiol in sexually related behavioral responses in male mice.
Centre de Neurosciences Cognitives et Comportementales/ GIGA-Neurosciences