c-Fos expression related to sexual satiety in the male rat forebrain (2007)

Physiol Behav. 2007 Aug 15;91(5):609-19. Epub 2007 Apr 1.

Phillips-Farfán BV, Fernández-Guasti A.


Department of Pharmacobiology, CINVESTAV, Mexico City, Mexico.


The long term inhibition of masculine sexual behavior after repeated ejaculations is known as sexual satiety.

To investigate the brain areas that may regulate sexual satiety, c-Fos expression was studied in different groups of sexually experienced male rats: controls not allowed to copulate, males allowed two or four ejaculations and animals allowed to reach sexual satiety.

Interestingly, males that ejaculated two or four times had similar c-Fos densities in all the evaluated brain regions, except for the suprachiasmatic nucleus.

Similarly, sexually satiated males had analogous c-Fos densities in all the evaluated brain areas independently of the number of ejaculations required to reach satiety.

Sexual activity (evidenced in males that ejaculated two or four times) increased c-Fos levels in the anteromedial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, claustrum, entorhinal cortex, medial preoptic area, nucleus accumbens core, suprachiasmatic nucleus and supraoptic nucleus; however, sexual satiety did not modify c-Fos expression in these regions. Sexually satiated males had increased c-Fos densities in the ventrolateral septum and the anterodorsal and posteroventral medial amygdala, compared with animals allowed to copulate but that did not reach sexual satiety, and decreased c-Fos density in the piriform cortex.

These results suggest that the network that underlies sexual satiety is different from that which regulates copulation.