Fernando Martinez-Garcia

Fernando Martinez-Garcia
Universitat Jaume I | UJI · Predepartmental Medicine Unit

Professor of Cell Biology

About

118
Publications
15,659
Reads
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3,320
Citations
Introduction
Our current research covers several lines of study: 1) We keep studying the anatomy of the amygdala of rodents, especially (but not exclusively) of its chemosensory centers. 2) We are interested in understanding what subsystems in the main and accessory olfactory systems are detecting pheromones and kairomones 3) We are now interested in understanding what changes in the brain of females to induce maternal behaviour. What are the neuroendocrine mechanisms for that? 4) Are pheromones involved in maternal behaviour? What kind of pheromones? What sensory organ is involved in their detection?
Additional affiliations
November 2010 - August 2014
University of Valencia
Position
  • Professor (Full)
July 1994 - November 2010
Universitat de València
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 1992 - December 1992
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (118)
Article
Full-text available
Rodents detect chemical information mainly through the olfactory and vomeronasal systems, which play complementary roles to orchestrate appropriate behavioral responses. To characterize the integration of chemosensory information, we have performed electrophysiological and c-Fos studies of the bulbo–amygdalar network in freely behaving female mice...
Article
Full-text available
During pregnancy hormones increase motivated pup-directed behaviours. We here analyse hormone-induced changes in brain activity, by comparing cFos-immunoreactivity in the sociosexual (SBN) and motivation brain networks (including medial preoptic area, MPO) of virgin vs late-pregnant pup-naïve female mice exposed to pups or buttons (control). Pups a...
Article
Full-text available
Synthetic cannabinoids receptor agonists (SCRAs) are often almost completely metabolised, and hence their pharmacokinetics should be carefully evaluated for determining the most adequate biomarker in toxicological analysis. Two structurally related SCRAs, AMB-FUBINACA and AMB-CHMICA, were selected to evaluate their in vivo metabolism and pharmacoki...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we identify 11 mouse pup volatiles putatively involved in maternal care induction in adult females. For this purpose, we have adapted the dynamic headspace methodology to extract the volatolome of whole alive animals. Untargeted metabolomic methodology was used to compare the volatolome of neonatal (4–6 days) with elder pups until th...
Article
Full-text available
During lactation, adult female mice display aggressive responses toward male intruders, triggered by male‐derived chemosensory signals. This aggressive behavior is not shown by pup‐sensitized virgin females sharing pup care with dams. The genetic mechanisms underlying the switch from attraction to aggression are unknown. In this work, we investigat...
Article
Full-text available
Motherhood entails changes in behavior with increased motivation for pups, induced in part by pregnancy hormones acting upon the brain. This work explores whether this alters sensory processing of pup-derived chemosignals. To do so, we analyse the expression of immediate early genes (IEGs) in the vomeronasal organ (VNO; Egr1) and centers of the olf...
Article
Synthetic cathinones are the second most commonly seized new psychoactive substance family in Europe. These compounds have been related to several intoxication cases, including fatalities. Although the pharmacological effects, metabolism, and pharmacokinetics of cathinones have been studied, there is little information about the permeability of the...
Article
Full-text available
Deficits in arginine vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OT), two neuropeptides closely implicated in the modulation of social behaviours, have been reported in some early developmental disorders and autism spectrum disorders. Mutations in the X-linked methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene are associated to Rett syndrome and other neuropsychiatric...
Article
Deficits in arginine vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OT), two neuropeptides closely implicated in the modulation of social behaviours, have been reported in some early developmental disorders and autism spectrum disorders. Mutations in the X-linked methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene are associated to Rett syndrome and other neuropsychiatric...
Article
Full-text available
Motherhood entails increased motivation for pups, which become strong reinforcers and guide maternal behaviours. This depends on steroids and lactogens acting on the brain of females during pregnancy and postpartum. Since virgin female mice exposed to pups are nearly spontaneously maternal, the specific roles of endocrine and pup-derived signals in...
Article
Full-text available
The protein doublecortin is mainly expressed in migrating neuroblasts and immature neurons. The X-linked gene MECP2, associated to several neurodevelopmental disorders such as Rett syndrome, encodes the protein methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2), a regulatory protein that has been implicated in neuronal maturation and refinement of olfactory circ...
Article
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Research of the central actions of prolactin is highly focused on females, but this hormone has also documented roles in male physiology and behaviour. Here, we provide the first description of the pattern of prolactin-derived signalling in the male mouse brain, employing the immunostaining of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of trans...
Data
Raw data for pSTAT5 analysis. Raw data of pSTAT5-ir density used for the statistical comparison of PRL-derived signalling among: (A) intact, PRL-supplmented males and ovariectomized, steroid-primed and PRL-supplemented females and (B) intact, PRL-supplemented males and castrated, PRL-supplemented males. (ZIP)
Article
Evolution selects those adaptive features that increase reproductive probabilities and facilitate survival. Analysing the brain circuits mediating risk-avoidance (e.g. defense) and those allowing reward-seeking (motivated) behaviours in different vertebrates leads to several main conclusions. First, circuits mediating risk-avoidance are similar in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research of the central actions of prolactin is virtually restricted to females, but this hormone has also documented roles in male physiology and behaviour. Here, we provide the first description of the pattern of prolactin-derived signalling in the male mouse brain, employing the immunostaining of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of...
Article
Full-text available
Chemosensory processing in mammals involves the olfactory and vomeronasal systems, but how the activity of both circuits is integrated is unknown. In our study, we recorded the electrophysiological activity in the olfactory bulbs and the vomeronasal amygdala in freely behaving mice exploring a battery of neutral and conspecific stimuli. The explora...
Article
New psychoactive substances (NPS) are a new breed of synthetically produced substances designed to mimic the effects of traditional illegal drugs. Synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones are the two most common groups, which try to mimic the effects of the natural compounds ⁹Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol and cathinone, respectively. Similarly, syn...
Article
The anterior cortical amygdaloid nucleus (ACo) is a chemosensory area of the cortical amygdala that receives afferent projections from both the main and accessory olfactory bulbs. The role of this structure is unknown, partially due to a lack of knowledge of its connectivity. In this work, we describe the pattern of afferent and efferent projection...
Article
Full-text available
Prolactin is fundamental for the expression of maternal behaviour. In virgin female rats, prolactin administered upon steroid hormone priming accelerates the onset of maternal care. By contrast, the role of prolactin in mice maternal behaviour remains unclear. This study aims at characterizing central prolactin activity patterns in female mice and...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual chemosignals detected by vomeronasal and olfactory systems mediate intersexual attraction in rodents, and act as a natural reinforcer to them. The mesolimbic pathway processes natural rewards, and the nucleus accumbens receives olfactory information via glutamatergic projections from the amygdala. Thus, the aim of this study was to investiga...
Article
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The transitional zone between the ventral part of the piriform cortex and the anterior cortical nucleus of the amygdala, named the cortex-amygdala transition zone (CxA), shows two differential features that allow its identification as a particular structure. First, it receives dense cholinergic and dopaminergic innervations as compared to the adjac...
Article
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Oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) play a major role in social behaviours. Mice have become the species of choice for neurobiology of social behaviour due to identification of mouse pheromones and the advantage of genetically modified mice. However, neuroanatomical data on nonapeptidergic systems in mice are fragmentary, especially concerning the...
Article
Full-text available
Chemosignals mediate both intra- and inter-specific communication in most mammals. Pheromones elicit stereotyped reactions in conspecifics, whereas kairomones provoke a reaction in an allospecific animal. For instance, predator kairomones elicit anticipated defensive responses in preys. The aim of this work was to test the behavioral responses of f...
Article
Full-text available
Virgin adult female mice display nearly spontaneous maternal care towards foster pups after a short period of sensitization. This indicates that maternal care is triggered by sensory stimulation provided by the pups and that its onset is largely independent on the physiological events related to gestation, parturition and lactation. Conversely, the...
Data
Full-text available
Comparing brains is not a mere intellectual exercise but also helps to understand how the brain enables adaptive behavioral strategies to cope with an ever-changing world and how this complex organ has evolved during the phylogeny. For instance, comparative neurobiology helps understanding the specific features of our species, an issue that attract...
Chapter
The amygdala has been recognized as the keystone in managing emotional information. Dysfunction of the amygdala results in syndromes ranging from anxiety, depression, PTSD or autism. Embryologically, the amygdala results from structures derived from the pallium (ventral and lateral) and the subpallium, and this dual origin remains in the adult. Cor...
Article
The medial amygdaloid nucleus (Me) is a key node in the socio-sexual brain, composed of anterior (MeA), posteroventral (MePV) and posterodorsal (MePD) subdivisions. These subdivisions have been suggested to play a different role in reproductive and defensive behaviours. In the present work we analyse the afferents of the three Me subdivisions using...
Article
A male-specific major urinary protein named darcin is attractive to female mice, Mus musculus, stimulates a learned attraction to volatile components of a male's urinary odour and induces spatial learning. In this article we show that darcin also induces learned attraction for a previously neutral olfactory stimulus (the odorant isoamyl acetate), a...
Article
This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". This paper reviews the role of chemosignals in the socio-sexual interactions of female mice, and reports two experiments testing the role of pup-derived chemosignals and the male sexual pheromone darcin in inducing and promoting maternal aggression. Female mice are attracted t...
Chapter
In rodents olfactory stimuli are essential for socio-sexual behaviour. Volatile stimuli mainly activate the main olfactory system, whereas non-volatile ones, some of them considered as pheromones, activate the accessory olfactory system. Traditionally, it has been considered that the efferent projections of the main and the accessory olfactory bulb...
Article
Most mammals possess a vomeronasal system that detects predominantly chemical signals of biological relevance. Vomeronasal information is relayed to the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), whose unique cortical target is the posteromedial cortical nucleus of the amygdala. This cortical structure should therefore be considered the primary vomeronasal co...
Article
Some chemicals elicit innate emotionally laden behavioral responses. Pheromones mediate sexual attraction, parental care or agonistic confrontation, whereas predators' kairomones elicit defensive behaviors in their preys. This essay explores the hypothesis that the detection of these semiochemicals relies on highly specific olfactory and/or vomeron...
Article
Quantitative analysis of the immunoreactivity for arginine-vasopressin (AVP-ir) in the telencephalon of male (intact and castrated) and female CD1 mice allows us to precisely locate two sexually dimorphic (more abundant in intact than castrated males and females) AVP-ir cell groups in the posterior bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) and the...
Chapter
In this chapter we first describe the embryological origins, cell composition, (chemo)architecture, regionalisation and connections of the piriform cortex (Pir) of the mouse. The available data suggest that the Pir is composed of several subareas with specific properties, which should not be considered primary sensory areas but true associative cor...
Article
Full-text available
The medial amygdaloid nucleus (Me) is a key structure in the control of sociosexual behavior in mice. It receives direct projections from the main and accessory olfactory bulbs (AOB), as well as an important hormonal input. To better understand its behavioral role, in this work we investigate the structures receiving information from the Me, by ana...
Article
Full-text available
The medial amygdaloid nucleus (Me) is a key structure in the control of sociosexual behavior in mice. It receives direct projections from the main and accessory olfactory bulbs (AOB), as well as an important hormonal input. To better understand its behavioral role, in this work we investigate the structures receiving information from the Me, by ana...
Article
Full-text available
This is the editorial introduction to the Frontiers Research Topic e-book collecting selected papers of the 6th European Conference on Comparative Neurobiology (ECCN6), held in Valencia (Spain) in April 2010. The e-book is available as supplemental resources
Article
Male sexual pheromones are rewarding stimuli for female mice, able to induce conditioned place preference. To test whether processing these natural reinforcing stimuli depends on the dopaminergic innervation of the nucleus accumbens, as for other natural rewards, we compare the effects of specific lesions of the dopaminergic innervation of the medi...
Article
Full-text available
Rodents constitute good models for studying the neural basis of sociosexual behavior. Recent findings in mice have revealed the molecular identity of the some pheromonal molecules triggering intersexual attraction. However, the neural pathways mediating this basic sociosexual behavior remain elusive. Since previous work indicates that the dopaminer...
Article
Full-text available
Most tetrapods possess two nasal organs for detecting chemicals in their environment, which are the sensory detectors of the olfactory and vomeronasal systems. The seventies' view that the olfactory system was only devoted to sense volatiles, whereas the vomeronasal system was exclusively specialized for pheromone detection was challenged by accumu...
Article
The chemosensory amygdala has been traditionally divided into two divisions based on inputs from the main (olfactory amygdala) or accessory (vomeronasal amygdala) olfactory bulbs, supposedly playing different and independent functional roles detecting odors and pheromones, respectively. Recently, there has been increased anatomical evidence of conv...
Article
Nitric oxide is known to take part in the control of sexual and agonistic behaviours. This is usually attributed to its role in neural transmission in the hypothalamus and other structures of the limbic system. However, socio-sexual behaviours in rodents are mainly directed by chemical signals detected by the vomeronasal system, and nitric oxide is...
Chapter
15.1 Introduction 15.2 Anatomical Heterogeneity of the Mammalian Amygdala 15.2.1 Organization of the Cerebral Hemispheres 15.2.2 The Pallial Amygdala 15.2.3 The Subpallial Amygdala 15.3 Functional Neuroanatomy of the Mammalian Amygdala 15.3.1 Inputs to the Amygdala 15.3.2 Outputs of the Amygdala 15.4 The Mammalian Amygdala: A Summary 15.5 The Amyg...
Article
In rodents, sexual advertisement and gender recognition are mostly (if not exclusively) mediated by chemosignals. Specifically, there is ample evidence indicating that female mice are 'innately' attracted by male sexual pheromones that have critical non-volatile components and are detected by the vomeronasal organ. These pheromones can only get acc...
Article
Although it is generally accepted that rodents' sociosexual behavior relies mainly on chemosignals, the specific roles played by the vomeronasal and olfactory systems in detecting these signals are presently unclear. This work reports the results of three experiments aimed at clarifying the role of the vomeronasal system on gender recognition and i...
Article
Full-text available
Endogenous opioids mediate some reward processes involving both natural (food, sweet taste) and artificial (morphine, heroin) rewards. In contrast, sexual behavior (which is also reinforcing) is generally inhibited by opioids. To establish the role of endogenous opioids for a newly described natural reinforcer, namely male sexual pheromones for fem...
Article
The amygdala shows ventropallial and lateropallial derivatives that can be compared among vertebrates according to their topological position, either superficial (cortical amygdala) or deep (basolateral amygdala and amygdalo-hippocampal area), connections and histochemical features. On the other hand, the subpallial amygdala, also called extended a...
Article
The amygdala of all tetrapod vertebrates receives direct projections from the main and accessory olfactory bulbs, and the strong similarities in the organization of these projections suggest that they have undergone a very conservative evolution. However, current ideas about the function of the amygdala do not pay sufficient attention to its chemos...
Article
Vertebrates sense chemical signals through the olfactory and vomeronasal systems. In squamate reptiles, which possess the largest vomeronasal system of all vertebrates, the accessory olfactory bulb projects to the nucleus sphericus, which in turn projects to a portion of the ventral striatum known as olfactostriatum. Characteristically, the olfacto...
Chapter
Full-text available
Even in rodents, there is no clear evidence of the existence of sexual pheromones mediating instinctive intersexual attraction. In this review we discuss previous results of our group indicating that female mice reared in the absence of male-derived chemosignals are ‘attracted’ by some components of male-soiled bedding, presumably detected by the v...