Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Chemical courtship in mice

Physiologically relevant ligands for mammalian odorant receptors have been elusive. A mouse odorant receptor–based bioassay has now been used to guide purification and identification of a natural ligand that mediates attraction of female mice to male urine.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: An olfactory receptor–based bioassay identifies a natural, behaviorally relevant odorant ligand.

Dario Calcines


  1. Yoshikawa, K., Nakagawa, H., Mori, N., Watanabe, H. & Touhara, K. Nat. Chem. Biol. 9, 160–162 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Buck, L. & Axel, R. Cell 65, 175–187 (1991).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Zhao, H. et al. Science 279, 237–242 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Touhara, K. Neurochem. Int. 51, 132–139 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Li, J., Haddad, R., Chen, S., Santos, V. & Luetje, C.W. J. Neurochem. 121, 881–890 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Saito, H., Chi, Q., Zhuang, H., Matsunami, H. & Mainland, J.D. Sci. Signal. 2, ra9 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Uezono, Y. et al. Receptors Channels 1, 233–241 (1993).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Miura, N., Nakagawa, T., Tatsuki, S., Touhara, K. & Ishikawa, Y. Int. J. Biol. Sci. 5, 319–330 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Leal, W.S. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 58, 373–391 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Sato, K., Pellegrino, M., Nakagawa, T., Vosshall, L.B. & Touhara, K. Nature 452, 1002–1006 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Charles W Luetje.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Luetje, C. Chemical courtship in mice. Nat Chem Biol 9, 140–141 (2013).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing