Proceedings of The Physiological Society

Europhysiology 2018 (London, UK) (2018) Proc Physiol Soc 41, PCB230

Poster Communications

Effects of Maternal Tobacco Smoke or Alpha Lipoic Acid on Sexual Behavior in Female Rats

N. Ulker1, A. YARDIMCI1, A. Tektemur2, N. Kaya3, E. Erdem Guzel5, R. Akkoc4, S. Canpolat1, E. Ozan3

1. Department of Physiology, Firat University Medical School, Elazig, Turkey. 2. Department of Medical Biology, Firat University Medical School, Elazig, Turkey. 3. Department of Histology and Embryology, Firat University Medical School, Elazig, Turkey. 4. Department of Anatomy, Firat University Medical School, Elazig, Turkey. 5. Department of Nursing, Mardin Artuklu University, Higher School of Health, Mardin, Turkey.


Sexual behavior plays a main role in reproduction and may be influenced by a number of factors (1). However, the effects of maternal tobacco smoke or alpha lipoic acid on sexual behavior is exactly unknown in female rats. In the literature, it has been suggested that exposed to tobacco components may affect female reproductive system (2). For example, nicotine administration affects adversely ovarian function and fertility in female rats (3). On the other hand, studies have shown that alpha lipoic acid may be positive effective on reproductive system, such as development of follicles in mice (4). In this study, we aimed to explore the effects of maternal tobacco smoke or alpha lipoic acid on sexual behavior in female rats. For the experimental studies, adult female Spraque-Dawley rats exposed to maternal tobacco smoke or alpha lipoic acid were used. Depending on tobacco smoke or alpha lipoic acid treatment (for 8 week before pregnancy and thoroughout pregnancy), 4 groups were formed [control, alpha lipoic acid (ALA), tobacco smoke (TS) and tobacco smoke+alpha lipoic acid (TS+ALA), n=7 for each group]. All rats in the estrus phase were tested for female sexual behavior with a sexually experienced male. In non-paced mating tests, female and male rats were placed together in arena for 10 min or until the female received 10 mounts to quantify proceptive (anogenital investigation, sniffing the genital area of the stimulus male) and receptive behaviors (lordosis quotient and lordosis quality). Lordosis quotient was measured as the lordosis/mount ratio x 100, and lordosis quality was computed according to the intensity of the lordosis responses scored on a 4-point scale (0-3) (5). Results were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and values were expressed as mean ± SE. There was no any significant change in the frequency of anogenital investigations, lordosis quotient and lordosis quality in all treatment groups compared to control group. However, the mean number of anogenital investigations was lower in ALA, TS and TS+ALA groups compared to control group (2.75±0.59, 2.5±0.81, 3.66±0.76 and 4.33±0.42, respectively). Although the lordosis quotient was similar in all groups (ALA, TS and control groups were 100%, TS+ALA group was 97.62±2.38%), there was a decline in lordosis quality scores in all treatment groups compared to control group (1.97±0.2, 2.01±0.1, 2.07±0.27 and 2.41±0.1 for ALA, TS, TS+ALA and control groups, respectively). These results indicate that maternal tobacco smoke or alpha lipoic acid may influence anticipatory phase (sexual motivation and/or arousal) or consummatory phase (sexual performance) of sexual behavior in female rats.

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements