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Modulation of serum testosterone and autonomic function through stimulation of the male human

vomeronasal organ (VNO) with pregna-4,20-diene-3,6-dione.

Monti-Bloch L, Diaz-Sanchez V,

Jennings-White C, Berliner DL

Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84108, USA

Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1998 Apr;65(1-6):237-42

In mammals, external chemosensory signals from

conspecifics of the opposite sex acting on vomeronasal organ receptors can modulate the release of gonadotropins.

There is developmental, anatomical and functional evidence showing that the human vomeronasal organ (VNO) has the

characteristics of a chemosensory organ. We have been using naturally occurring human pheromones to serve as models

for designing novel synthetic compounds that we call vomeropherins. In previous publications we reported that

vomeropherin pregna-4,20-diene-3,6-dione (PDD) delivered to the VNO of normal female and male human volunteers

significantly affected male subjects only, decreasing respiration and cardiac frequency, augmenting alpha brain

waves, and significantly decreasing serum luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Results

of the present work confirm that PDD produces a local dose-dependent effect in the male human VNO. This is followed

by a mild parasympathomimetic effect characterized by 10% increase of vagal tone, together with decreased frequency

of electrodermal activity events. Furthermore, PDD locally delivered to the male human VNO significantly decreases

serum LH and testosterone (p < 0.01). The present results contribute additional evidence supporting the

functionality of the human VNO and its repercussions in autonomic and psychophysiological functions, as well as in

neuroendocrine secretions.