Chemical Isolation and Identification of Pheromones in the Preputial Gland and Other Secretions of the Rat.
Final rept. 1 Dec 74-31 May 78,
MASSACHUSETTS UNIV AMHERST DEPT OF BIOCHEMISTRY
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Our research included the chemical analysis of the sex attractants found in the male and female rat preputial glands. The preputial gland analyses by solvent extraction, vacuum distillation, gas-chromatography and mass spectrometry led to the discovery of a number of compounds which had sex attractant properties. We found the alkyl and alkenyl acetates to be mainly sex attactants for the female rat. The male rats were primarily attracted to sulfur containing molecules. Our bioassay apparatus was modified and improved to allow its use outdoors. When this waterproof bioassay model was utilized for rat sex attractant research, we found that many of the odorants preferred by tame laboratory rats were also attractive to wild rodents under field conditions. We reported that the voided urine of intact male rats has an avoidance effect on the normal adult male. This quality was not present in bladder urine of adult males, nor in voided urine of castrated or immature males. The avoided substance can be extracted with ethyl ether from normal voided urine. Our research indicates that the marking pheromone is produced by the androgen controlled coagulating glands and released into the urine during urination. Author