Noradrenergic alpha-2A receptor activation suppresses courtship vocalization in male Japanese quail

Yasuko Tobari, Ami Masuzawa, Norika Harada, Kenta Suzuki, Simone Meddle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Male Japanese quail produce high-frequency crow vocalizations to attract females during the breeding season. The nucleus of intercollicularis (ICo) is the midbrain vocal center in birds and electrical stimulation of the ICo produces calls that include crowing. Noradrenaline plays a significant role in sexual behavior but
the contribution of noradrenaline in the control of courtship vocalizations in quail has not been well established. Using dose-dependent intracerebroventricular injection of clonidine, an α2-adrenergic receptor-specific agonist, crowing vocalization was immediately suppressed. At the same time as crow suppression by clonidine there was a reduction of immediate early gene, zenk mRNA, in the ICo; no zenk mRNA expression was detected in the dorsomedial division of the nucleus. Using histochemistry, we determined that the ICo receives noradrenergic innervation and expresses α2A-adrenergic receptor mRNA. Taken together, these data suggest that noradrenaline regulates courtship vocalization in quail, possibly via the α2A-adrenergic receptor expressed on ICo neurons.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113513
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Early online date3 Aug 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Aug 2021


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