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Front. Behav. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00021

Postweaning Isolation Rearing Alters the Adult Social, Sexual preference and Mating Behaviours of Male CD-1 Mice

 Zi-WEI Liu1, 2,  Yu Yu1,  Cong Lu3, Ning Jiang3,  Xiao-Ping Wang2, Xin-Min Liu3* and  Shui-Yuan Xiao1*
  • 1Department of Social Medicine and Health Management, Xiangya School of Public Health, Central South University, China
  • 2Mental Health Institute of the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South Universit y, China
  • 3Center for Pharmacology & Toxicology, Institute of Medicinal Plant Development (CAMS), China

Objective: No study has comprehensively evaluated the effect of postweaning isolation on the social and sexual behaviours of a certain strain of rodents in ethology. The present study aims to explore how and to what extent isolation rearing after postweaning affects the social and sexual behaviours of male CD-1 mice in adulthood systematically.
Methods: Male CD-1 mice were randomly assigned to two groups: isolation reared (IS, one mouse per cage, n = 30) and group housed (GH, five mice per cage, n = 15). The mice underwent isolation rearing from postnatal day 23 to day 93. Then, social affiliation, recognition and memory were measured through selection task experiments. Social interaction under a home cage and novel environment were measured via resident-intruder and social interaction test, respectively. Furthermore, sexual preference, homosexual and heterosexual behaviours were measured.
Results: Our study found that postweaning isolation increased the social affiliation for conspecifics (p = 0.001), reduced social recognition (p = 0.042) and impaired social memory. As for social interaction, isolated mice showed a remarkedly increased aggression towards the intruder male in a home cage or novelty environment. For instance, isolated mice presented a short attack latency (p < 0.001), high attack frequency (p < 0.001) and long attack duration (p < 0.001). In addition, isolated mice exhibited further social avoidance. Contrastingly, isolated mice displayed a reduced sexual preference for female (IS: 61.47±13.80%, GH: 70.33±10.06%, p = 0.038). As for heterosexual behaviour, isolated mice have a short mating duration (p = 0.002), long mounting latency (p = 0.002) and long intromission latency (p = 0.015). However, no association was observed between postweaning isolation and homosexual behaviour in male CD-1 mouse.
Conclusion: Postweaning isolation increased the social affiliation, impaired the social cognition and considerably increased the aggression in social interaction of adult male CD-1 mice. Postweaning isolation induced a decreased sexual preference for female in adulthood. Postweaning isolation extended the latency to mate, thereby reducing mating behaviour. No association was observed between isolation and homosexual behaviour.

Keywords: Postweaning, isolation rearing, Social Behaviour, sexual preference, mating behaviour, male CD-1 mice

Received: 31 Aug 2018; Accepted: 25 Jan 2019.

Edited by:

Livio Provenzi, Eugenio Medea (IRCCS), Italy

Reviewed by:

Giovanni Laviola, Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), Italy
Sharon Casavant, MS, RN, University of Connecticut, United States
Daniel M. Sapozhnikov, McGill University, Canada  

Copyright: © 2019 Liu, Yu, Lu, Jiang, Wang, Liu and Xiao. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Xin-Min Liu, Center for Pharmacology & Toxicology, Institute of Medicinal Plant Development (CAMS), Haidian, China,
Prof. Shui-Yuan Xiao, Department of Social Medicine and Health Management, Xiangya School of Public Health, Central South University, Changsha, China,