The role of mesencephalic tegmentum in regulating female rat sexual behaviors

Korehito Yamanouchi, Yasumasa Arai*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Feminine sexual behaviors were tested in estradiol benzoate (EB) and progesterone (P) primed ovariectomized rats following four types of radiofrequency lesions in the midbrain tegmentum. The dorsomedial lesion (DML) which destroyed the ventromedial central gray including the dorsal raphe nucleus and adjacent area induced high sexual receptivity in the females primed with low dose (0.5 μg) of EB-P. All females with DML exhibited lordosis and ear wiggling, the mean lordosis quotient (LQ) being significantly higher than that of castrated controls or sham operated rats. Sexual receptivity in females with ventromedial tegmental lesion was not significantly different from those of the control and sham groups. In contrast to the medially lesioned groups, the mean LQ was low in the animals with bilateral lateral tegmental lesions even when the dose of EB was increased to 2 μg which was sufficient to induce high sexual receptivity in castrated and sham operated control females. In the animals with dorsolateral tegmental lesions (DLL), a much more severe loss of lordosis was seen than in those with ventrolateral tegmental lesions (VLL). None of the DLL females displayed sexual behavior throughout the present experiments. These results lead us to conclude that the midbrain dorsomedial tegmental area (ventral central gray and the adjacent area) is concerned with female sexual behavior inhibiting system, whereas the lateral tegmental area may be involved in the facilitatory system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)255-259
    Number of pages5
    JournalPhysiology and Behavior
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1985


    • Estrogen
    • Female rat
    • Lordosis
    • Lordosis inhibiting system
    • Midbrain tegmentum
    • Progesterone
    • Soliciting behavior
    • Ventral central gray

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physiology (medical)
    • Behavioral Neuroscience


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