Gonadal steroid hormone secretion during the juvenile period depends on host-specific microbiota and contributes to the development of odor preference

Itsuka Kamimura, Akiyuki Watarai, Takuma Takamura, Atsushi Takeo, Kyoko Miura, Hidetoshi Morita, Kazutaka Mogi, Takefumi Kikusui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


The host microbial community is thought to have an important role in the host endocrine system and behavioral phenotype. We investigated chronological changes of levels of gonadal hormones and corticosterone in the feces of 4- to 8-week-old female germ-free (GF) mice, and conducted odor preference test at 8 weeks of age. We further evaluated the developmental impact of the microbial community by analyzing 4-week-old GF mice orally administered the fecal microbiota of specific pathogen-free (SPF) mice or guinea pigs (GF-SPF mice or GF-Guinea pig mice). The fecal estradiol, progesterone, and corticosterone levels of GF mice were lower than those of SPF mice. Furthermore, the increased levels in GF mice were suggested to be caused by colonization of microbiota of SPF mice or guinea pigs. However, the degree of recovery of progesterone and corticosterone by microbiota of guinea pigs was lower than that by SPF mice. In odor preference tests, interestingly, female GF mice preferred female odors to male odors, although this preference was not seen in other mice. These findings suggested that the microbial community plays an important role in the development of the host endocrine system for gonadal hormones and corticosterone, and odor preference in mice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • adolescent
  • corticosterone
  • germ-free mice
  • gonadal steroid hormones
  • microbiota

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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