Pheromones: Chemistry, Framework and Functions

The first pheromone was identified in 1953. This pheromone, called BOMBYKOL is secreted by female moths and taken a "come if you ask me" indication to men. This indication can travel large distances and works well at low concentrations.

The mammalian pheromone system was more challenging to understand because mammals, definately not having the simple stereotyped behaviour of insects, have organic and independent behavior. Mammals were found to find pheromones via an body organ in the nasal area called the VNO, which is similar in function to the olfactory membranes but connects to the hypothalamus.

Scientists were beginning to speculate whether a pheromone system been around in humans. Within the 70's Martha McClintock pointed out that females residing in close closeness underwent a changing of phase with their menstrual cycles triggering them to ovulate at similar times.

It was discovered that this effect was scheduled to a chemo signal, or pheromone. In 1974 Dr George Dodd learned the first human sex pheromone, alpha-androstenol.

Although humans are mammals, it isn't sure that all pheromones are diagnosed by the human being VNO; some may be diagnosed by the olfactory membranes (by normal smelling). It is known that pheromones need not actually be smelled to exert their unconscious effect, although individuals pheromones that are commercially available do have a detectable aroma at high concentrations.

However, not absolutely all people are in reality able to find the mindful odour of pheromones, but apparently this will not reduce their unconscious effect.

Although commercially available individuals pheromones dwelling address a quite specific portion of human interaction, attraction, pheromones are likely involved in the areas such as mother-infant bonding. Pheromone products are also from a particular category of pheromones which derive from sex hormones which indicate youngsters, fertility, etc.

Everybody secretes these chemicals, however, not in the same volumes. Other pheromones are unique to the individual, including the pheromones that signal muscle type (Major Histo-compatibility - the "T-shirt study").

The hormone derived pheromones are naturally secreted onto your skin via the apocrine glands, which are primarily situated in the arm pits and the pubic region; the scalp in these areas really helps to disperse the pheromones effectively.

These fragrance glands have sometimes evolved to execute an entirely different and specialised role, for example in the ear to produce ear wax, or in women's breasts to produce milk.

It is well known that androstenol can generate a spike in Luteinizing Hormone in both sexes, and this causes a spike in testosterone levels which might be responsible for feelings of attraction.

Definition of Pheromones

A pheromone (from Greek phero "to keep" + hormone from Greek - "impetus") is a secreted or excreted substance factor that creates a social response in members of the same types.

Pheromones are chemicals capable of acting beyond your body of the secreting individual to impact the tendencies of the getting individual. (5)

Another description of pheromones

Pheromones are effortlessly occurring chemicals the fertile body excretes externally, conveying airborne messages that can create social reactions from others of the same e species

Pheromones were first defined by biologists in 1959 as chemical compounds that can be excreted by the animals to trigger the reproductive behavioural response from a recipient of the same varieties.

Pheromones are now more popular to be the mediator that promotes the success of each types. (6)


  1. Aggregation pheromones
  2. Alarm pheromones
  3. Epideictic pheromones
  4. Releaser pheromones
  5. Primer pheromones
  6. Signal pheromones
  7. Territorial pheromones
  8. Trail pheromones
  9. Information pheromones

1. Aggregation pheromones

Its functions in the security against predators, mate selection, and overcoming host amount of resistance by mass harm. Several individuals at one location are known as aggregation, whether comprising one making love or both sexes.

Male-produced love-making attractant have been called aggregation pheromones, because they usually bring about the introduction of both sexes at a phoning site and upsurge in density of conspecifics surrounding of the pheromone source. (7)

Most gender pheromones are produced by the females and small ratio of love-making attractants are made by males

2. Alarm pheromones

Some species that emits a volatile chemical, when attacked by way of a predator that can trigger flight or aggression in ants, insects are the users of the same types.

Pheromones also exist in plant life: certain crops emit alarm pheromones when grazed upon, leading to tannin production in the neighboring plant life. These tannins make the crops less appetizing for the herbivores. (8)

3. Epideictic pheromones

Epideictic pheromones are relatively different from territory pheromones, when it comes to insects.

Fabre witnessed and mentioned how "females who lay their eggs in these fruits deposit these incomprehensible substances near their clutch to sign to other females of the same kinds they must clutch somewhere else. (9)


Signal pheromones that can cause short term changes; such as, the neurotransmitter release which triggers a response. For example, GnRH molecule functions as a neurotransmitter in rats to elicit lordosis behavior. (10)

Signal pheromones between father and daughter


Primer pheromones bring about an alteration of developmental events


Trail pheromones are normal in social insects. For instance, ants indicate their paths with these pheromones, that are volatile hydrocarbons.

Certain ants lay down an initial path of pheromones as they return to the nest with food. This trail attracts other ants and functions as helpful information.

Trail pheromones

As long as the meals source remains, the pheromone path will be regularly restored. The pheromone must be continually renewed because it evaporates quickly. Once the supply commences to dwindle, the trail making ceases. In at least one types of ant, tracks that no more business lead to food are also proclaimed with a repellent pheromone. (11)


Laid down in the surroundings, territorial pheromones tag the boundaries of organism's territory.

In dogs and cats, these hormones are present in the urine, that they deposit on landmarks serving to draw the perimeter of the claimed territory.

In interpersonal seabirds, the preen described as 'displacement activity'. (13)


Information pheromones are indicative associated with an animal's personality or territory. For instance, cats and dogs deposit chemicals in and around their territory, which in turn provide as an indication for other people of the varieties about the presence of the occupant for the reason that territory. (14)


In animals, intimacy pheromones signify the availability of the feminine for breeding. Male animals could also emit pheromones that convey information about their varieties and genotype. (15)

The making love pheromones


Some of the buildings of the pheromones are given below

1. 4-heptanone

2. 2-methyl 4-heptanone

3. 6-methyl 5-heptene- 2- one

4. 4 -hydroxy 4-methyl-2-pentanone


The basic size of pheromone molecules can be limited by about 5 to 20 carbons and a molecular weight between 80 and 300. This is because below 5 carbons and a molecular weight of 80, hardly any kinds of substances can be manufactured and stored by glandular cells.

Above 5 carbons and a molecular weight of 80, the molecular variety increases rapidly therefore does indeed the olfactory efficiency. Once we get above 20 carbons and a molecular weight of 300, the diversity becomes so great and the molecules are so big that they no longer are advantageous.

Those pheromones are also more expensive to make and transfer and are less volatile. Generally, the most making love pheromones are bigger than other pheromones.

But it is the bugs, they have a molecular weight between 200 and 300 & most alarm substances are between 100 and 200.

Pheromones, like the visual communication, use solo, individual information as well as composite chemical text messages.

For example, in many pests and mammals, each endocrine gland produces a pheromone with another meaning. However, many times pheromones from different glands are secreted at that same time.

Female wasps release attractant pheromones from other head and erotic excitant pheromones from their abdomen at the same time. This can improve the performance of the meaning or create an completely new communication.

It is also easy for different substances with different meanings to be produced in the same gland. (19)

Dr. Winnifred culter -co-discoverers of individual Pheromones(1986)

Dr. Cutler's research proven proof that real human pheromones affect human relationships between women and men. Many years later, in 1993, she took human pheromones one step further. Dr. Cutler developed and marketed a artificial pheromone known as Athena Pheromone 10:13.

The pheromone is a copy of one given off by "sexually attractive" women in their twenties which is a colourless, odourless liquid women can wear to draw in men. The pheromone proved to be successful and Dr. Cutler and the Athena Institute sold more artificial pheromones, including Athena Pheromone 10X for men.

Development of Synthetic Pheromones

The development of other synthetic pheromones, such as those used for pest control, keeps growing at an extremely fast rate. The chemical substance compositions of insect pheromones are incredibly well realized and experts have been able to produce fabricated pheromones with the same chemical structure.


Simple changes to the buildings, such as adding a double bond, conjugation, cyclic bands, or changing the positions of the atoms can completely change the pheromone into a new pheromone. That's what brings about the E and Z pheromones and the variations between dienes and trienes, etc. Other pheromones include nitrogen in their framework, making them amides. (20)

Some of the pheromones example with the buildings (21)

Use of Synthetic Pheromones

One popular use of artificial pheromones is made for pest management. Experts use methods such as pest monitoring, mass trapping, lure and kill, and mating disruption to determine valuable information about pests, the problems they cause to crops, and how to resolve the problem with pests.

Pest monitoring is employed to determine the purpose that a certain system of pest removal is usually to be used. Some factors that are believed in these decisions include technological factors and commercial factors.

Other important components of monitoring systems are the attractant source, the trap and where to place it, and sufficient understanding of the pest biology to interpret the catches.

The attractant source is made up of the active component and its managed release device. The trap design is just the basic structure of the trap itself and it offers designs such as sticky plates, tent traps, wing traps, funnel traps, and dairy carton traps.

The three critical indicators of trap position are its level, position regarding vegetation, and the trap density. Some applications of pest monitoring traps are detailed in the stand below.

Figure from Insect Pheromones and Their Used in Infestation Management, 1998, 264

Mass trapping entails placing a higher density of traps in the crop to be covered to remove a higher proportion of individuals from the population.

However, lack of attraction of females to the attractant source, lack of efficient traps, high insect populations and capture saturation, and a dependence on high density traps per unit of surface (aka cost) make mass trapping difficult.

It is commonly used on fruit flies, moths, and beetles.

Lure and eliminate techniques are incredibly comparable to mass trapping, except once the insect is attracted to the semi chemical type lure, it is subjected to a getting rid of or sterilizing agent instead of being trapped. Additionally it is known as attracticide and attraction-annihilation. Lure and get rid of consists of two components, the lure and the affector. The lure consists of odours, aesthetic cues, or both and the affector eradicates the insect from the populace. Below is a desk of some typically common lures and and affectors used. Lure and eliminate uses target devices, including physical traps and sprayable formulations, which use pheromones that are released from planes and are slowly but surely released. It really is mainly used on berry flies, house flies, and tsetse flies. )

Mating disruption is the use of pheromones to lessen or prevent egg laying by females. That is done by interfering with the mating behavior processes between males and females. Operated release chemicals are being used before the starting point of pest activity and they are released in small amounts for weeks or calendar months. This strategy has become so successful that it's now found in agriculture, horticulture, and forestry.

The three major strategies of mating disruption are confusion, trail-masking, and false-trail pursuing. Confusion is caused by the frequent exposure of guys to a high attentiveness of pheromone fog, which in turn causes version of the antennal receptors and habituation of the central anxious system. This helps prevent the guy from giving an answer to normal levels of the pheromone released by females.

Trail-masking is utilizing a artificial pheromone to destroy the pheromone trail layed by the females. False-trail following is laying numerous dots of fabricated pheromone in high concentrations to present the insect with many false trails to check out. It is reliant mainly upon the number and intensity of the pheromone dispensers.

It took many years to build up environmentally safe adjustments that did not have severe results on other types, but scientists have finally achieved relatively successful and specific chemicals. Mating disruption is used for insect pests of cotton, rice, forest insects, and fruits and vegetable pests.


There a wide range of advantages to using chemical alerts.

Some basic ones include the undeniable fact that chemicals can transfer through darkness, around obstructions, and they are extremely energetically successful. Pheromones are relatively cheap to biosynthesize plus they can be released in a very simple manner, including the simple procedure of starting a gland.

Pheromones can also carry on for days and become transmitted over great potential ranges. This includes millimetres for microorganisms and kilometres for other microorganisms, without even changing the reception or biosynthesis. Some pheromones previous such a long time that once they are released, they can be actually employed by the same organism in the future if it comes back.

Some pheromones aren't very specific and can effect other kinds when they are released. For example, agitated honeybee personnel release isoamyl acetate or 2-heptanone, which alarms the other nestmates but also alarms any ants or termites that are in the vicinity. That is beneficial to the ants termites, who are now aware of the danger which may be present. (22)


There is one major disadvantage of chemical communication.

It is very sluggish. Organisms cannot quickly transfer pheromones over long ranges or differ from one chemical concept to another. Also, there has been no data that microorganisms use amplitude and regularity modulation in the transfer of pheromones.

Although slow transfer is a significant disadvantage, microorganisms have been able to adjust to counteract it. They do that by the multiplication of glands and other primary biosynthetic sites to permit the independent discharge of pheromones with different meanings. One of these of the is the black-tailed deer.

The deer produces pheromones in at least seven different sites, including urine, feces tarsal glands, metatarsal glands, preorbital glands, forehead glands, and interdigital glands. The pheromones from each site have a new function.

Comparison of Man made and Natural Pheromones (23)

Many times, synthetic pheromones that are used in pest control, insect monitoring, etc. are successful, as mentioned in the "use of artificial pheromones" section. Experts can actually trick insects into considering the fabricated pheromones are in fact natural pheromones released by other pests.

Therefore, there isn't much issue about if synthetic pheromones used for insect control are effective and just like natural insect pheromones.

The controversial comparison is between human being pheromones and the man-made individuals pheromones, now being produced and put into colognes, perfumes, etc.

The pheromones that are situated in the perfumes are in reality androstenone and androstenal, or known to critics as "pig pheromones".

Figure taken from http://www. erox. com/SixthSense/StoryOne. html



The Washington Post, 11/18/86.

Pheromones Uncovered in Humans(24)Magazine.

by Boyce Rensberger

'Scientists in Philadelphia have established for the first time that our body produces pheromones, special aromatic chemical compounds discharged by one individual that influence the erotic physiology of another.

Although pets or animals have always been known to secrete pheromones, which typically work as sex attractants, and although the lifetime of such chemicals in humans is definitely speculated, the new research is the first ever to establish their lifestyle in humans'

USA Today, 11/19/86

The Real Chemical Reaction between the Sexes (25)

USA Today

by Kim Painter

Chemicals in men's systems can cause their female sex lovers to be more fertile, have significantly more regular menstrual cycles and milder menopause, landmark research shows.

And women who have love-making with men at least once a week benefit most from the chemicals, which obviously sort out the sense of smell.

"The thrilling part is the effect we've on each other. Men are essential to women, " says Dr. Winnifred B. Cutler of Philadelphia, whose studies also show for the very first time that chemicals called pheromones exist in humans.

Pheromones have always been known to are present in pets, as scents that get sex associates. Cutler's new studies. . . show women are afflicted by pheromones from men and women

*Women exposed to another woman's "female essence" menstruated at exactly the same time after a couple of months, confirming a long-observed trend that women who live jointly menstruate at the same time.

Cutler's other studies also show women who've love-making with men at least one time a week have regular menstrual cycles and fewer fertility and menopause problems, seemingly because of contact with pheromones.

CNN Online, and WebMD. com article, 6/25/99

Pheromones: Potential members in your love-making life(26)

By Deb Levine

Copyright WebMD. com

In 1986 Dr. Winifred Cutler, a biologist and behavioural endocrinologist, co learned pheromones in our underarms.

She and her team of researchers discovered that once any overbearing underarm perspiration was removed, what continued to be were the odourless materials formulated with the pheromones.

Dr. Cutler's original studies in the '70s showed that women who have regular intimacy with men have significantly more regular menstrual cycles than women who've sporadic intimacy.

Regular sex postponed the drop of estrogens and made women more fertile. This led the study team to consider what the man was providing in the equation.


As you can view, pheromones are a much bigger part in our lives than form of chemical communication between microorganisms.

There have been significant boosts in the knowledge humans have about pheromones before several years, but there continues to be plenty of information we have no idea about them.

For example, we might know the chemical structure of individuals pheromones, but we've yet to find out set up VNO plays a role in their function or if the VNO is even practical.

The study of insect pheromones has arranged the building blocks for the study of pheromones as a whole and lately we have been taking it a step further, to the human pheromone level.

As always, technology has allowed us to do increasingly more experiments and acquire increasingly more know-how about pheromones.

Some of the results of recent studies are astonishing; just check out the article by Dr. Gallup which will be released in June 2002. In case the rapid boosts in experimentation and knowledge continue, soon we might be able to control other's actions, just like we control bugs, simply by spraying a chemical. (27)

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