Functional vomeronasal receptor genes in primates?

First evidence for functional vomeronasal 2 receptor genes in primates

Abstract excerpt(s):

1)  “In primates, the V2R repertoire has been considered degenerate. Here, we identify for the first time two intact V2R loci in a strepsirrhine primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), and demonstrate their expression in the vomeronasal organ….”

2) “The functional significance of the loci is unknown, but positive selection on one of them is consistent with an adaptive role in pheromone detection. Finally, conservation of V2R loci in strepsirrhines is notable, given their high diversity and role in MUP and MHC detection in rodents.”

My comment: Jay Feierman, who moderates the human ethology group, mentioned this forthcoming article, and immediately followed it with his comment: Note that the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) is nocturnal, like its namesake, the rodent mouse.

He rejected my response to his attempt to focus on this primate’s nocturnal behavior, which has nothing to do with the report on the link from pheromones in mice to pheromones in primates. Here’s the point:

> Note also that MHC detection is a feature common to all mammals. It is detected
> via species-specific pheromones and no VNO is required to do this. Thus, anyone
> who attempts to make it appear that the differences between species-specific
> detection of social odors/pheromones has something to do with differences
> between nocturnal species and those that are not nocturnal species, may be
> attempting to mislead others outside the context of what is known about cause
> and effect in species from microbes to man. Similarly, attempts to mislead
> others confuse them about the importance of pheromones to myelination of the
> brain, where species differences also are most easily linked to species-specific
> pheromones, as I have detailed in a series of publications since 1996 that link
> luteinizing hormone to specific aspects of brain development, including those
> that are sexually differentiated by pheromones.

 New form of brain plasticity: Research shows how social isolation disrupts myelin production.”

The importance of olfactory/pheromonal input to adaptive evolution of the brain and behavior becomes clearer with news reports like these. What’s clearest is the fact that the epigenetic effects of olfactory input on adaptive evolution are part of an evolutionary continuum that has can no longer be denied. For example, the lack of a human VNO has nothing to do with the fact that social isolation disrupts myelin production due to the absence of social odors (i.e., pheromones). Thus, the importance of human pheromones to myelin production is clear.

Unless, that is, people like Feierman continue to try and make the importance less clear, as they have done for more than 50 years. Simply put, they have denied that human pheromones play any role whatsoever in the development of human behavior. Now, mouse-to-primate models attest to olfactory conditioning of hormones and behavior, which make it more difficult for evolutionary theorists or for human ethologists to deny the fact that “Olfaction and odor receptors provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans. 

So why are people like Feierman continuing to mislead others? I think its because they missed something of critical importance to understanding the development of the human brain and behavior, and are embarassed to think that others might know what they missed. If you were like Feierman, you might also do your best to keep others from learning what you did not.

About James V. Kohl 1307 Articles
James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones. Recently, Kohl integrated scientific evidence that pinpoints the evolved neurophysiological mechanism that links olfactory/pheromonal input to genes in hormone-secreting cells of tissue in a specific area of the brain that is primarily involved in the sensory integration of olfactory and visual input, and in the development of human sexual preferences. His award-winning 2007 article/book chapter on multisensory integration: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences followed an award winning 2001 publication: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, which was coauthored by disinguished researchers from Vienna. Rarely do researchers win awards in multiple disciplines, but Kohl’s 2001 award was for neuroscience, and his 2007 “Reiss Theory” award was for social science. Kohl has worked as a medical laboratory scientist since 1974, and he has devoted more than twenty-five years to researching the relationship between the sense of smell and the development of human sexual preferences. Unlike many researchers who work with non-human subjects, medical laboratory scientists use the latest technology from many scientific disciplines to perform a variety of specialized diagnostic medical testing on people. James V. Kohl is certified with: * American Society for Clinical Pathology * American Medical Technologists James V. Kohl is a member of: * Society for Neuroscience * Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology * Association for Chemoreception Sciences * Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality * International Society for Human Ethology * American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science * Mensa, the international high IQ society