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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;885:25-30. doi: 10.1007/5584_2015_190.

Swelling of Erectile Nasal Tissue Induced by Human Sexual Pheromone.

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Physiology and Physiopathology Section, Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Science, University of Chieti-Pescara 'G. d'Annunzio', Chieti, Italy.
Clinica Villa del Sole, Caserta, Italy.
Public Higher Medical Professional School in Opole, 68 Katowicka St., 45-060, Opole, Poland.


Most chemically mediated sexual communication in humans remains uncharacterized. Yet the study of sexual communication is decisive for understanding sexual behavior and evolutive mechanisms in our species. Here we provide the evidence to consider 4,16-androstadien-3-one (AND) as a man's sexual pheromone. Our experiment provides support for the physiological effect of AND on nasal airway resistance (Rna) in women, as assessed by anterior rhinomanometry. We found that AND administration increased the area of turbinate during the ovulatory phase, resulting in an increase of Rna. Thus, we discovered that minute amounts of AND, acting through neuroendocrine brain control, regulate Rna and consequently affect the sexual physiology and behavior. Fascinatingly, this finding provides the evidence of the preservation of chemosexual communication in humans, which it has been largely neglected due to its unconscious perception and concealed nature. Therefore, chemical communication is a plesiomorphic evolutive phenomenon in humans.


Androstadienone; Human chemosexual communication; Human pheromone; Nasal airway resistance; Pheromone; Rhinomanometry; Turbinate swells

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