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MeSH Review


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Disease relevance of Copulation


Psychiatry related information on Copulation

  • The theory proposes that the phylogenetic development of the mammalian vagus is paralleled by a specialized communication, via oxytocin and vasopressin, between the hypothalamus and the medullary source nuclei of the viscera vagus, which facilitates sexual arousal, copulation, and the development of enduring pair-bonds [5].
  • In summary, serum cortisol did not allow us to distinguish between the excitement of copulation and the negative affect associated with sexual frustration, whereas increases in serum beta-endorphin and motor activity seemed to be indicators of the negative emotional state of sexual frustration in trained boars [6].
  • Thiazide-type diuretics also produce erectile dysfunction in rats and interfere with normal copulation [7].

High impact information on Copulation

  • Esterase 6 is depleted in males by copulation and is transferred to females early during copulation as a component of the seminal fluid [8].
  • Adult female rats receiving long-term estrogen treatment displayed the species-typical motor pattern of ejaculation during copulation [9].
  • Absence of PN-1 results in altered semen protein composition, which leads to inadequate semen coagulation and deficient vaginal plug formation upon copulation [10].
  • Virgin dsf females resist males during courtship and copulation and fail to lay mature eggs. dsf males actively court and attempt copulation with both mature males and females but are slow to copulate because of maladroit abdominal curling [11].
  • Some responses, such as ingestion of standard foods by hungry animals, copulation, and escape, are relatively impervious to dopamine disruption [12].

Chemical compound and disease context of Copulation

  • Elevating 5-HT in the LHAA by microinjecting alaproclate inhibited copulation by increasing the latency to mount, intromit, and ejaculate [13].
  • Also, androgen is necessary for touch-based and noncontact erection, but not for erection during copulation [14].
  • As the activation of copulation requires aromatization of testosterone to estradiol, this quantitative enzymatic difference between sexes could contribute to the greater behavioral response displayed by males [15].
  • Furthermore, an acute estradiol injection rapidly stimulates copulation in quail, whereas a single injection of the aromatase inhibitor vorozole rapidly inhibits this behavior [16].
  • Taken together, the results show that the elevated circulating levels of progesterone, characteristic of pregnancy, are probably responsible for the dissociation of copulation from gonadotropin release in pregnant rabbits [17].

Biological context of Copulation

  • In the MPOA, 5-HT release remained stable throughout copulation, and microinjecting alaproclate into this site did not significantly alter sexual behavior [13].
  • The oamb females displayed normal courtship and copulation; however, they were impaired in ovulation with many mature eggs retained in their ovaries [18].
  • The NO2- and NO3- concentrations were also increased in the paraventricular dialysate of male rats during copulation, i.e. when in copula penile erections occurred [19].
  • During gestation ALP-specific activity peaked at Day 7 to 8 (Day 1 is day of detection of the copulation plug) followed by a rapid decline to control levels by Day 9 [20].
  • There was no clear relationship between hormones and behavior for the single cycle in which the serum samples were obtained, with the exception that no copulations occurred after the early luteal phase, when progesterone was greater than 5 ng/ml [21].

Anatomical context of Copulation


Gene context of Copulation

  • Sex-peptide (SP), a male seminal peptide transferred during copulation, is the major agent eliciting transcription of Mtk and of other AMP genes [27].
  • lingerer, a Drosophila gene involved in initiation and termination of copulation, encodes a set of novel cytoplasmic proteins [28].
  • Adult activin receptor type II null (Acvr2-/-) male mice display multiple reproductive behavioral deficits, including delayed initiation of copulation, reduced mount, and intromission frequencies, and increased mount, intromission, and ejaculation latencies [29].
  • Drosophila melanogaster sex peptide (SP) and Ductus ejaculatorius peptide (DUP99B) are male pheromones transferred in the seminal fluid to the female during copulation [30].
  • While morphine inhibited copulation, 5-HT3 antagonists failed to reverse the effects [31].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Copulation


  1. New reproductive anomalies in fruitless-mutant Drosophila males: extreme lengthening of mating durations and infertility correlated with defective serotonergic innervation of reproductive organs. Lee, G., Villella, A., Taylor, B.J., Hall, J.C. J. Neurobiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  2. Cyclophosphamide effects on fetal mouse cephalic acetylcholinesterase. Pillans, P.I., Stephenson, B.A., Folb, P.I. Arch. Toxicol. (1988) [Pubmed]
  3. Oltipraz treatment in experimental schistosomiasis mansoni. II. Effect of high dose oral therapy on worm load and process of copulation in infected mice. Aboul-Atta, A.M., Hassan, Z.A., el-Ahl, S.S. Journal of the Egyptian Society of Parasitology. (1989) [Pubmed]
  4. Developmental toxicity study of glycolic acid in rats. Munley, S.M., Kennedy, G.L., Hurtt, M.E. Drug and chemical toxicology. (1999) [Pubmed]
  5. Love: an emergent property of the mammalian autonomic nervous system. Porges, S.W. Psychoneuroendocrinology (1998) [Pubmed]
  6. Hormonal and behavioral correlates of emotional states in sexually trained boars. Bishop, J.D., Malven, P.V., Singleton, W.L., Weesner, G.D. J. Anim. Sci. (1999) [Pubmed]
  7. Effect of weight loss on thiazide produced erectile problems in men. Langford, H.G., Rockhold, R.W., Wassertheil-Smoller, S., Oberman, A., Davis, B.R., Blaufox, M.D. Trans. Am. Clin. Climatol. Assoc. (1989) [Pubmed]
  8. Esterase 6 and reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster. Richmond, R.C., Gilbert, D.G., Sheehan, K.B., Gromko, M.H., Butterworth, F.M. Science (1980) [Pubmed]
  9. Ejaculatory pattern in female rats without androgen treatment. Emery, D.E., Sachs, B.D. Science (1975) [Pubmed]
  10. Male fertility defects in mice lacking the serine protease inhibitor protease nexin-1. Murer, V., Spetz, J.F., Hengst, U., Altrogge, L.M., de Agostini, A., Monard, D. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2001) [Pubmed]
  11. dissatisfaction, a gene involved in sex-specific behavior and neural development of Drosophila melanogaster. Finley, K.D., Taylor, B.J., Milstein, M., McKeown, M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1997) [Pubmed]
  12. Dopamine functions in appetitive and defensive behaviours. Blackburn, J.R., Pfaus, J.G., Phillips, A.G. Prog. Neurobiol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  13. Extracellular serotonin in the lateral hypothalamic area is increased during the postejaculatory interval and impairs copulation in male rats. Lorrain, D.S., Matuszewich, L., Friedman, R.D., Hull, E.M. J. Neurosci. (1997) [Pubmed]
  14. Contextual approaches to the physiology and classification of erectile function, erectile dysfunction, and sexual arousal. Sachs, B.D. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews. (2000) [Pubmed]
  15. Sexual differentiation of aromatase activity in the rat brain: effects of perinatal steroid exposure. Roselli, C.E., Klosterman, S.A. Endocrinology (1998) [Pubmed]
  16. Rapid decreases in preoptic aromatase activity and brain monoamine concentrations after engaging in male sexual behavior. Cornil, C.A., Dalla, C., Papadopoulou-Daifoti, Z., Baillien, M., Dejace, C., Ball, G.F., Balthazart, J. Endocrinology (2005) [Pubmed]
  17. Dissociation of copulation from ovulation in pregnant rabbits. Mills, T.M., Gerardot, R.J. Biol. Reprod. (1984) [Pubmed]
  18. Octopamine receptor OAMB is required for ovulation in Drosophila melanogaster. Lee, H.G., Seong, C.S., Kim, Y.C., Davis, R.L., Han, K.A. Dev. Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  19. Morphine injected into the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus prevents noncontact penile erections and impairs copulation: involvement of nitric oxide. Melis, M.R., Succu, S., Spano, M.S., Argiolas, A. Eur. J. Neurosci. (1999) [Pubmed]
  20. Characterization and expression of uterine and placental alkaline phosphatases in the mouse. Pollard, J.W., Jahan, M., Butterworth, P.J. J. Reprod. Fertil. (1990) [Pubmed]
  21. Menstrual cycle patterns of hormones and sexual behavior in gorillas. Nadler, R.D., Collins, D.C., Miller, L.C., Graham, C.E. Hormones and behavior. (1983) [Pubmed]
  22. Extracellular dopamine in the medial preoptic area: implications for sexual motivation and hormonal control of copulation. Hull, E.M., Du, J., Lorrain, D.S., Matuszewich, L. J. Neurosci. (1995) [Pubmed]
  23. Sexual motivation is demasculinized, but not feminized, in prenatally stressed male rats. Wang, C.T., Shui, H.A., Huang, R.L., Tai, M.Y., Peng, M.T., Tsai, Y.F. Neuroscience (2006) [Pubmed]
  24. Effects of morphiceptin in the medial preoptic area on male sexual behavior. Matuszewich, L., Ormsby, J.L., Moses, J., Lorrain, D.S., Hull, E.M. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) (1995) [Pubmed]
  25. Synthesis and secretion of glycoproteins in rat bulbo-urethral (Cowper's) glands. 1. The effect of copulation on the glandular content and on the incorporation of galactose and leucine. Geuze, J.J., Slot, J.W. Biol. Reprod. (1976) [Pubmed]
  26. Hormone concentrating cells in vocal control and other areas of the brain of the zebra finch ( Poephila guttata). Arnold, A.P., Nottebohm, F., Pfaff, D.W. J. Comp. Neurol. (1976) [Pubmed]
  27. Drosophila sex-peptide stimulates female innate immune system after mating via the Toll and Imd pathways. Peng, J., Zipperlen, P., Kubli, E. Curr. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  28. lingerer, a Drosophila gene involved in initiation and termination of copulation, encodes a set of novel cytoplasmic proteins. Kuniyoshi, H., Baba, K., Ueda, R., Kondo, S., Awano, W., Juni, N., Yamamoto, D. Genetics (2002) [Pubmed]
  29. Impaired male sexual behavior in activin receptor type II knockout mice. Ma, X., Reyna, A., Mani, S.K., Matzuk, M.M., Kumar, T.R. Biol. Reprod. (2005) [Pubmed]
  30. Binding sites of Drosophila melanogaster sex peptide pheromones. Ottiger, M., Soller, M., Stocker, R.F., Kubli, E. J. Neurobiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  31. Lack of effects of 5-HT3 antagonists on normal and morphine-attenuated sexual behaviours in female and male rats. Tanco, S.A., Watson, N.V., Gorzalka, B.B. Experientia (1993) [Pubmed]
  32. Microinjection of the dopamine antagonist cis-flupenthixol into the MPOA impairs copulation, penile reflexes and sexual motivation in male rats. Warner, R.K., Thompson, J.T., Markowski, V.P., Loucks, J.A., Bazzett, T.J., Eaton, R.C., Hull, E.M. Brain Res. (1991) [Pubmed]
  33. Relaxin in peripheral plasma of boars during development, copulation, after administration of hCG and after castration. Juang, H.H., Musah, A.I., Schwabe, C., Ford, J.J., Anderson, L.L. J. Reprod. Fertil. (1996) [Pubmed]
  34. Postcoital luteinizing hormone release in male and female rabbits as determined by radioimmunoassay. Jones, E.E., Bain, J.B., Odell, W.D. Fertil. Steril. (1976) [Pubmed]
  35. Reproductive effects in male and female rats from neonatal exposure to p-octylphenol. Nagao, T., Yoshimura, S., Saito, Y., Nakagomi, M., Usumi, K., Ono, H. Reprod. Toxicol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  36. Lateral hypothalamic serotonin inhibits nucleus accumbens dopamine: implications for sexual satiety. Lorrain, D.S., Riolo, J.V., Matuszewich, L., Hull, E.M. J. Neurosci. (1999) [Pubmed]
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