Neurosteroids, pheromones, and menopause etc.

Estrogen: Not just produced by the ovaries

by Jordana Lenon

Excerpt: “Discovering that the hypothalamus can rapidly produce large amounts of estradiol and participate in control of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons surprised us,” says Ei Terasawa, professor of pediatrics at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and senior scientist at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. “These findings not only shift the concept of how reproductive function and behavior is regulated but have real implications for understanding and treating a number of diseases and disorders.”

My comment: It is great to see things like this reported, since our 1996 attempt to call attention to the information on neurosteroids failed. Why were these researchers surprised? We reported this information about neurosteroids 17 years ago in our Hormones and Behavior review article.

“Relatively new, however, is the realization that various portions of the CNS itself can produce steroids and can do so independently of the gonads and adrenals (Baulieu and Robel, 1990; Roselli, 1995). These “neurosteroids” (steroids produced by neurons) have been reported in the fetal brain, suggesting localized organizational effects (Kabbadj, el-Etr, Baulieu, and Robel, 1993). Activational effects in sexual behavior have also been shown for neurosteroids (Genazzani, Palumbo, de Micheroux, Artini, Criscuolo, Ficarra, Guo, Benelli, Bertolini, Petraglia, and Purdy, 1995), even at intermediate levels of a steroid conversion sequence (Kavaliers and Kinsella, 1995).

Though neurosteroids research is relatively new, certain findings already are important. For instance it is now known that (i) the enzymes that produce neurosteroids are transcribed from the same genes that produce gonadal and adrenal steroids (Compagnone, Bulfone, Rubenstein, and Mellon, 1995b; Mellon and Deschepper, 1993); (ii) transcription regulation for neurosteroidal enzymes is different from gonadal and adrenal regulatory processes (Zhang, Rodriguez, and Mellon, 1995); (iii) within discrete brain nuclei, some subareas differ with regard to utilization of neuro- and nonneurosteroids (Compagnone et al., 1995a; Roselli, 1995); and (iv) even early stages in the neurosteroid route from cholesterol to various end-product steroids affect sexual perceptions and behavior (Kavaliers and Kinsella, 1995).”

I’m convinced that we provided too much experimental evidence for support when some people were clinging to theory. Many people cling to their theories until an information overload of accurate representations of biological facts forces them to acknowledge the paradigm shift occurred. They must then privately acknowledge it and proceed to “catch up.” Note, you never see anyone claim that they were not surprised by such dramatic findings, even though they should have known all along that their findings were perfectly predictable because conserved molecular mechanisms are clearly involved that link microbes to man.

Unfortunately, the possibility that human pheromones could be used to stimulate the release of estradiol and relieve the symptoms of menopausal “hot flashes” has still not been examined. When women who have suffered from, or are now suffering from, severe symptoms of estrogen withdrawal find out that researchers have ignored research that could have helped them, I suspect that much ‘hate mail’ will be generated.

About James V. Kohl 1308 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