Phenolic plant compounds functioning as reproductive inhibitors in Microtus montanus

Science  11 Feb 1977:
Vol. 195, Issue 4278, pp. 575-577
DOI: 10.1126/science.319531


Naturally occurring cinnamic acids and their related vinylphenols were found to inhibit reproductive function in Microtus montanus. When fed on these compounds, the rodents exhibited decreased uterine weight, inhibition of follicular development, and a cessation of breeding activity. It is suggested that these animals utilize plant compounds as a cue to terminate their reproductive effort in natural populations.