Addendum #1 re:
Teresa's hypothesis concerning S/O & G/O and variations.
Also: a cite.
DIFFERING USES OF THE WORD "PHEROMONES"
Abstract: With this posting, I present the idea that "ySC mating-pheromone
processes" may be more closely parallel to "nasal immunological
processes" than to "olfactory or vomeronasal processes".
Background: Many articles about the yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (ySC) use
the word "pheromone" or its plural in reference to chemo-signals that
induce mating responses in ySC of the opposite mating type.
Similarly, many articles about mammalian reproduction use words such as
"odor" and "pheromone" in describing sexually significant chemo-signalling (i)
between opposite mating types (ie, male & female), (ii) between mother and
neonate, and (iii) among various other members of the same species. etc.
Furthermore, these "odor" and "pheromone" articles about mammalian chemo-
signalling often link the signalling molecules to receptors labeled as
"olfactory" or "vomeronasal"; and correspondingly, "olfactory" and
"accessory olfactory" neural pathways have become increasingly well
Rationale: My readings during the last several months have prompted a
contrasting yet complementary realization that there is a third domain of
nasal perception that:
(i) is neither olfactory nor vomeronasal,
(ii) is primarily immunological,
(iii) may well be a substrate for sexually significant chemo-signalling, and
(iv) also may be the primary subtrate for mechanisms by which
sexual- and gender- orientations and their variations occur,
(v) is transduced into neural signals.
Certainly, aspects of ySC mating processes are analogous to olfactory and
vomeronasal transductions. However, the fact that certain ySC mating-
pheromone components are preserved in human T-cells suggests that a primary
aspect of sexually significant chemo-signalling may be via nasal immunological
tissue, even as the olfactory and vomeronasal domains carry additional
information of a sexual sort.
Summary: I can't help but wonder that the use of the word "pheromones" in
regard to ySC chemo-signals in pursuit of ySC mating (i) has led to a general
presumption that ySC processes are primarily analogous to mammalian
olfactory and vomeronasal processes, and (ii) thereby has induced an
overlooking of nasal (and possibly epidermal) immunological tissues and their
contribution to human sexuality -- including their possible role as
substrates of S/O and G/O.
In other words, the better analogy for ySC mating pheromones
might be (a) not to olfactory and/or vomeronasal tissues but instead (b)
to immunological tissues of the nasal mucosa and (possibly) epidermis.
*** *** ***
The following cite has been re-called to my attention:
au: Ellis L & Ames MA
so: Psychological Bulletin 2.233-58 1987
ti: Neurohormonal functionin and sexual orientation: a theory of
On p242 the authors cite and discuss several studies wherein
immunological process induced varying degrees of bisexuality in lab
animals. The primary targets of the immunological antibodies were related
to LHRH [aka GnRH, gonadorelin, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, etc] and
thus primarily affected hormonal circuits in the developing brain. This
mechanism is important and may be paralleled in humans, some of whom are
known to produce antibodies against various hormones.
What I am proposing (as a different subset of causal mechanisms) is a
very different focus, one that includes mating-related antigen responses in
APCs and other immunological cells of the nasal mucosa and possibly
*** *** ***
S/O = sexual orientation
G/O = gender orientation
Copyright 1996 as part of Collected Writings of Teresa C. Binstock
(permission hereby granted to distribute this message in its entirety)
Teresa C. Binstock
Researcher in Developmental & Behavioral Neuroanatomy
Denver CO USA
Teresa.Binstock at uchsc.edu
Please send responses to me as well as posting to newsgroup. Thank you.