<Pine.PMDF.3.91.960228235055.113345B-100000 at BIOMED.MED.YALE.EDU>,
yhadeish at BIOMED.MED.YALE.EDU says...
>understanding that olfactory cues are critical to sexual attraction in
>mammalian systems as well as in the insect systems wherein pheromones
>were originally identified (I think pheromones were first identified in
>insects--- apologies, Dr. Ruth!)--- but what does this have to do with
>the immune system?
Both the psychoneuroendocrinology and the psychoneuroimmunology of sexual
attraction and reproductive sexual behavior seem to center on aspects of
the pheromonal activation of genes in gonadotropin-releasing hormone
(GnRH) neurosecretory neurons. This, because hypothalamic GnRH
pulsatility has numerous effects on both the
hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal
axes, and especially on steroidogenesis--as it is related to behavior. (A
fraction of mammalian GnRH also appears to have direct effects on
Are we saying that the olfactory system must use
>something like VD(J) recombination to generate the diversity of
>chemosensory receptors necessary to differentiate between the diversity
>of odor cues? I've heard such things discussed from time to time. Or
>are we ignoring the mechanistic details and just throwing these ideas
>there to see what kinds of ideas, what kinds of criticisms they invoked?
I have tossed the idea of pheromonal activation of genes in GnRH
neurosecretory cells of the brain, the most important of organs involved
in the organ systems that modulate behavior and attempted to establish a
clear link between genetic constitution (nature) and the
social-environment (nurture). Few criticisms have come forth. The most
likely criticism would be derived from another model in which the
activation of genes in GnRH neurosecretory neurons by some other form of
social-environmental stimuli could be shown. Until other sensory stimuli,
besides mammalian pheromones are shown either to have any effect or to
have more potent effects on GnRH pulsatility, it seems likely that the
concept of human pheromones is an idea whose time has come (again).