In Focus:

No sex without kiss! Researchers discover how the brain controls sex

Using female mice as a model, the researchers found that a hormone in the brain, appropriately called kisspeptin, drives both attraction to the opposite sex and sexual behavior. They discovered that pheromones secreted by the male mouse activate these neurons, which, in turn, transmit this signal to another population of neurons (gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons) to drive attraction to the opposite sex. In parallel, they also transmit this signal to cells that produce the neurotransmitter nitric oxide to trigger sexual behavior.

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