Effects of prostaglandins on sexual receptivity in the female lizard, anolis carolinensis

Richard R. Tokarz, David Crews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Prostaglandins (PGs) have been implicated in the mediation of sexual behavior in vertebrates. In this study, the effects of administered PGs on sexual receptivity were examined in the ovariectomized female green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis). Injection (ip) of 15 μg PGF(2α) failed to induce sexual receptivity in nonreceptive females which were either untreated or estrogen primed. On the other hand, PGF(2α) treatment of sexually receptive estrogen-pretreated females inhibited sexual receptivity 1 hr post injection. A dose of 7.5 μg PGF(2α) was as effective as 15 μg in inhibiting sexual receptivity, while a dose of 1.5 μg was near the minimum effective level. Treatment with 15 μg PGE2 and, to a lesser extent, PGE1 also reduced sexual receptivity. In contrast, arginine-8-vasotocin, a neuropeptide capable of stimulating smooth muscle contractions in reptiles, did not decrease sexual receptivity. The inhibitory effects of PG treatment observed at 1 hr were diminished by 3 hr and were no longer present 6 and 24 hr post injection, with females, again, being fully receptive. Inhibition of sexual receptivity occurs very rapidly after PGF(2α) treatment. When tested 5 min post injection, all females treated with 15 μg PGF(2α) were nonreceptive, whereas females treated with 15 μg arginine-8-vasotocin were sexually receptive. The oviducts were not required for PGF(2α) inhibition of sexual receptivity, as sexual receptivity was inhibited in oviductectomized females 1 hr after the injection of 15 μg PGF(2α). The inhibitory action of PGF(2α) was also observed when sexually receptive females were injected intracranially rather than ip. Intracranial injection of 3.8 μg PGF(2α) inhibited sexual receptivity in females tested 1 hr post injection. These results indicate that exogenous PGs, possibly acting centrally within the brain, inhibit sexual receptivity in female A. carolinensis, a species with a rapid mating-induced termination of sexual receptivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-457
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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