The present investigations were carried out to find out the chemical nature of clitoral gland extracts and their involvement in reproductive and social behaviour. Homogenates of clitoral glands of mature estrous female rats were extracted with n-hexane and dichloromethane (1:1 ratio v/v) and analysed by gas chromatography linked mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Three peaks were found to be in higher concentration, which were identified as 6,11-dihydro-dibenz-b,e-oxepin-11-one (I); 2,6,10-dodecatrien-1-ol-3,7,11-trimethyl(Z) (II); and 1,2-benzene-dicarboxylic acid butyl(2-ethylpropyl) ester (III). Odour preference tests demonstrated that the first compound attracted conspecifics of the opposite sex. By contrast, the second and third compounds were found to attract both sexes. The results conclude that the clitoral gland of laboratory rat contains three major chemical compounds which have a unique function in maintaining social and reproductive status.
Volume 44 | Issue 4
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