John Libbey Eurotext

Annales de Biologie Clinique


Les phéromones : un moyen de communication sous-estimé dans l’espèce humaine Volume 61, issue 3, Mai 2003


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  • Key words: pheromone, olfaction, olfactory receptor, non-verbal signal, HLA-dependent
  • Page(s) : 275-8
  • Published in: 2003

The pheromones are molecules, mainly aliphatic acids, with or without perceptible odor, recognized by specific receptors, the stimulation of which induces neuroendocrine reactions and affects the individual behavior. Olfactory receptors are underexpressed in human, 70 % of genes have become nonfunctional pseudogenes. But the remaining function was tested and is able to induce emotional reactions corresponding to a non-verbal signal of social interactions. In the present study, we review the actual knowledge on the olfactory receptors. They belong to the G-protein-coupled-receptors. Their signal is transduced to the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Some HLA-based olfactory cues are shown with reference to recent experiments. The pathophysiological hypotheses are considered with respect to studies in anorexia nervosa and Alzheimer’ disease.