Letter | Published:

Androgen-induced Reversal of Parental Behaviour in the Female Rabbit

Nature volume 204, pages 809810 (21 November 1964) | Download Citation



DURING the course of recent experiments designed to investigate endocrine influence on the developing nervous system androgens have been given to pregnant guinea-pigs1,2 and rats3 without apparently disturbing parental behaviour at, or after, parturition. The effect of such treatment on the pregnant rabbit does not seem to have been previously reported. This has now been examined by injecting six rabbits during pregnancy with testosterone propionate in arachis oil. Three (‘Chinchillas’) received five injections of 5 mg beginning on the 10th day of pregnancy and on each 4th day afterwards; the other three animals (‘New Zealand Whites’) were all injected daily with 5 mg from the 17th until 21st day, 2.5 mg from the 22nd until 25th day and 1.0 mg from the 27th until 29th day. In other respects, such as caging, cleaning, lighting, temperature and diet, the animals were treated exactly as were non-injected pregnant rabbits. Litters were born within the gestation period found to be normal in this Department (31 ± 2 days).

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  1. Institute of Psychiatry, Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, S.E.5.

    • H. J. CAMPBELL


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