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Bile Acid Secreted by Male Sea Lamprey That Acts as a Sex Pheromone

Weiming Li, Alexander P. Scott, Michael J. Siefkes, Honggao Yan, Qin Liu, Sang-Seon Yun and Douglas A. Gage
Science
New Series, Vol. 296, No. 5565, The Rice Genome (Apr. 5, 2002), pp. 138-141
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3076400
Page Count: 4
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Bile Acid Secreted by Male Sea Lamprey That Acts as a Sex Pheromone
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Abstract

We show that reproductively mature male sea lampreys release a bile acid that acts as a potent sex pheromone, inducing preference and searching behavior in ovulated female lampreys. The secreted bile acid 7α,12α,24-trihydroxy-5α-cholan-3-one 24-sulfate was released in much higher amounts relative to known vertebrate steroid pheromones and may be secreted through the gills. Hence, the male of this fish species signals both its reproductive status and location to females by secreting a pheromone that can act over long distances.

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