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Data from: Toxoplasma gondii infection enhances testicular steriodogeneis in rat

Citation

Lim, Audrey; Kumar, Vineet; Hari Dass, Shantala A.; Vyas, Ajai (2012), Data from: Toxoplasma gondii infection enhances testicular steriodogeneis in rat, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3f2s5

Abstract

The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii enhances the sexual attractiveness of infected male rats and attenuates the innate fear of cat odor in infected individuals. These behavioral changes plausibly lead to greater transmission of parasites through sexual and trophic routes, respectively. Testosterone, a testicular steroid, is known to reduce fear and enhance sexual attractiveness in males. Here, we show that Toxoplasma gondii infection enhances expression of genes involved in facilitating synthesis of testosterone, resulting in greater testicular testosterone production in male rats. In several species, testosterone mediates trade-offs between sexually selected traits and life-history decisions. Augmentation of testosterone synthesis by Toxoplasma gondii suggests that parasites may manipulate these trade-offs in rats.

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