• the Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences


Original Article

Exp Neurobiol 2016; 25(4): 156-162

Published online August 31, 2016

© The Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences

Effects of the Female Estrous Cycle on the Sexual Behaviors and Ultrasonic Vocalizations of Male C57BL/6 and Autistic BTBR T+ tf/J Mice

Hyopil Kim, Junehee Son, Hyoungseob Yoo, Hakyoo Kim, Jihae Oh, DaeHee Han, Yoon Hwang and Bong-Kiun Kaang*

Laboratory of Neurobiology, School of Biological Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea

Correspondence to: *To whom correspondence should be addressed.
TEL: 82-2-880-7525, FAX: 82-2-884-9577
e-mail: kaang@

Received: July 14, 2016; Revised: July 28, 2016; Accepted: August 4, 2016


A primary characteristic of autism, which is a neurodevelopmental disorder, is impaired social interaction and communication. Furthermore, patients with autism frequently show abnormal social recognition. In mouse models of autism, social recognition is usually assessed by examining same-sex social behavior using various tests, such as the three-chamber test. However, no studies have examined the ability of male mice with autism to recognize the estrous cycle of female partners. In this study, we investigated the sexual behaviors, especially mounting and ultrasonic vocal communication (USV), of BTBR T+ tf/J (BTBR) mice, which are used as a well-known mouse model of autism, when they encountered estrus or diestrus female mice. As expected, C57BL/6 mice mounted more female mice in the estrus stage compared with the diestrus stage. We found that BTBR mice also mounted more female mice in the estrus stage than female mice in the diestrus stage. Although the USV emission of male mice was not different between estrus and diestrus female mice in both strains, the mounting result implies that BTBR mice distinguish sexual receptivity of females.

Keywords: Autism, Social recognition, Estrous cycle, Sexual interaction, Ultrasonic vocalization