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A missense polymorphism in the putative pheromone receptor gene VN1R1 is associated with sociosexual behavior

Journal article
Authors Susanne Henningsson
Daniel Hovey
K. Vass
H. Walum
K. Sandnabba
P. Santtila
P. Jern
Lars Westberg
Published in Translational Psychiatry
Volume 7
ISSN 2158-3188
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Language en
Keywords MAIN OLFACTORY EPITHELIUM, VOMERONASAL ORGAN, HUMAN CHEMOSIGNAL, FEMALE, MICE, WOMEN, ODOR, HUMANS, MOOD, PERCEPTION, RESPONSES
Subject categories Pharmacology

Abstract

Pheromones regulate social and reproductive behavior in most mammalian species. These effects are mediated by the vomeronasal and main olfactory systems. Effects of putative pheromones on human neuroendocrine activity, brain activity and attractiveness ratings suggest that humans may communicate via similar chemosignaling. Here we studied two samples of younger and older individuals, respectively, with respect to one nonsynonymous polymorphism in the gene encoding the human vomeronasal type-1 receptor 1, VN1R1, and one nonsynonymous polymorphism in the gene encoding the olfactory receptor OR7D4. Participants in both samples had self-reported their sociosexual behavior using the sociosexual orientation inventory, including questions regarding lifetime number of one-night stands, number of partners last year and expected number of partners the coming 5 years. In women, there was a significant association between the VN1R1 polymorphism and sociosexual behavior in both samples, driven specifically by the question regarding one-night stands. Our results support the hypothesis that human social interaction is modulated by communication via chemosignaling.

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