Effects of pheromones attributed to touch (in mice)

Paternal mice bond with their offspring through the power of touch Prior work (1) from two of these same authors correctly attributed changes in the production of new brain cells to the effect of pheromones on  neurons in the olfactory bulb that express gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which send projections to the hypothalamus. This results in the release of luteinizing hormone and follicular-stimulating hormone (FSH) by the anterior pituitary.  Together, LH and FSH control the release of steroid hormones, such as estrogen, that influence sexual behavior via effects on neurogenesis. Estrogen promotes the release of prolactin (PRL) and provides a regulatory feedback loop for LH and FSH release.

Looking at the downstream effects of GnRH on other hormones, and then attributing effects on neurogenesis and behavior to these other hormones derails the logic of an well-established link from pheromones to behavior.

In the report linked above, the effect of pheromones is attributed to touch. Clearly, however, it is the effect of pheromones that stimulates the production of new brain cells, as has been detailed in other works, including at least one by Dr. Weiss and his colleagues.

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17603480, also see the story at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/75900.php “Weiss said “We found that pheromones, and particularly dominant male pheromones, can stimulate the production of new brain cells,…”

Author: jim