Lesions of the nucleus paragigantocellularis: effects on mating behavior in male rats

David P. Yells, Shelton E. Hendricks, Mark A. Prendergast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


We evaluated the effects of bilateral radio-frequency lesions of the paragigantocellular (PGi) reticular nucleus in the ventral medulla on male rat copulatory behavior. In Experiment 1, sexually naive male rats with such lesions were more likely than sham-operated controls to copulate to ejaculation during their first exposure to an estrous female. Additionally, among the rats that copulated to ejaculation, those with lesions demonstrated a reduction in mount frequency (MF), intromission frequency (IF), and ejaculation latency (EL), and an increase in copulatory efficiency (CE). In Expt. 2, sexually experienced male rats were allowed to sexual exhaustion. Males with PGi lesions showed an increased latency to sexual exhaustion and an increased number of ejaculations prior to exhaustion. Additionally, rats with PGi lesions displayed reductions in IF, EL, and post-ejaculatory interval (PEI) as they approached sexual exhaustion. Our results provide further evidence that the PGi is a supraspinal locus of descending inhibitory influence on spinal nuclei mediating ejaculatory reflexes in the male rat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 20 1992


  • Descending inhibition
  • Ejaculation
  • Nucleus paragigantocellularis
  • Serotonergic pathway
  • Sexual exhaustion
  • Ventrolateral medulla

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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