The hormonal response of the male rat to sexual activity was investigated in two studies. In the first, no evidence of a chronic elevation in plasma levels of testosterone (T), LH, or prolactin (PRL) was observed in sexually experienced rats compared to naive controls. Both groups showed an acute increase in plasma levels of all three hormones following mating, but the increases shown by the experienced group were more pronounced. In the second study, plasma levels of T, LH and PRL rose in sexually experienced male rats following exposure to a mating arena whether it contained an estrous female, an anestrous female, or no other animal. However, the increases were considerably larger in the group exposed to estrous females. It is suggested that plasma hormones rise in anticipation of mating, although not to the same extent as following mating, and that the anticipatory rise may function to initiate or facilitate mating behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Behavioral Neuroscience