Olfactory receptor for prostaglandin F mediates male fish courtship behavior

Yoichi Yabuki, Tetsuya Koide, Nobuhiko Miyasaka, Noriko Wakisaka, Miwa Masuda, Masamichi Ohkura, Junichi Nakai, Kyoshiro Tsuge, Soken Tsuchiya, Yukihiko Sugimoto, Yoshihiro Yoshihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Pheromones play vital roles for survival and reproduction in various organisms. In many fishes, prostaglandin F acts not only as a female reproductive hormone, facilitating ovulation and spawning, but also as a sex pheromone inducing male reproductive behaviors. Here, we unravel the molecular and neural circuit mechanisms underlying the pheromonal action of prostaglandin F in zebrafish. Prostaglandin F specifically activates two olfactory receptors with different sensitivities and expression in distinct populations of ciliated olfactory sensory neurons. Pheromone information is then transmitted to two ventromedial glomeruli in the olfactory bulb and further to four regions in higher olfactory centers. Mutant male zebrafish deficient in the high-affinity receptor exhibit loss of attractive response to prostaglandin F and impairment of courtship behaviors toward female fish. These findings demonstrate the functional significance and activation of selective neural circuitry for the sex pheromone prostaglandin F and its cognate olfactory receptor in fish reproductive behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)897-904
Number of pages8
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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