Effects of the non-pseudoautosomal region of the Y-chromosome on behavior in female offspring of two congenic strains of mice.

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Animals-Newborn, Behavior-Animal, Brain, Chromosome-Abnormalities, Comparative-Study, Female, Male, Maze-Learning, Mice, Mice-Mutant-Strains, Y-Chromosome

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Neuroscience 2000; 96(4):837-42.


The learning behavior of female offspring of two strains of mice congenic for the Y-chromosome, BXSX/MpJ-Yaa and BXSB/MpJ-Yaa+, was examined. Significant differences were found in the Morris water maze and the Lashley III maze, demonstrating that the fathers' Y-chromosome can indirectly affect their daughters' behavior. Approximately half the mice had neocortical ectopias, and females from the two paternal groups reacted differently to the presence or absence of ectopias. Since females do not have a Y-chromosome, these effects must be through non-genetic mechanisms. Prenatal factors that could have played a role include possible differences in gonadal growth and the presence of different H-Y antigens. Postnatally, the sires and male siblings of the two strains may not have behaved the same toward the female offspring and/or the dams, creating differences in behavior.In summary, the behavior of female offspring of two groups of males, genetically the same except for their Y-chromosomes, was examined. Since females do not receive a Y-chromosome from their fathers, in theory their behavior should not differ. Significant differences were found, indicating that the Y-chromosome, through some indirect mechanism, can affect females of the next generation.

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