Anatomical evidence for an endocrine activity of the vomeronasal organ in humans

Wessels, Quenton and Hoogland, P. V. J. M. and Vorster, W. (2014) Anatomical evidence for an endocrine activity of the vomeronasal organ in humans. Clinical Anatomy, 27 (6). pp. 856-860. ISSN 0897-3806

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The mammalian vomeronasal organ (VNO) is a well-adjusted chemosensory structure that facilitates social and reproductive behavior in mammals. The existence, locality, and function of this organ in human adults remain a matter of discussion. Most authors now agree that a neuroreceptive function of the adult human VNO can be excluded due to the absence of both neural receptive cells associated with the VNO in other mammals despite the enigmatic reports on the effects of pheromones on human behavior. Adult cadavers form European (Caucasoid) descent were used in this article and parasagittal dissection of the heads allowed access to the nasal septa, which were grossly examined for the VNO openings. Tissue samples were collected, embedded in gelatin and serially sectioned through cryomicrotomy. Nissl staining was performed as well as immunohistochemically stained with an antibody against calcium-binding protein. The findings presented here confirm the bilateral presence of the VNO in adult cadavers and demonstrate morphological connections of VNO receptor cells with the underlying capillaries. In addition, possible endocrine activity associated with the epithelium of this chemosensory structure has been demonstrated by the expression of calcium-binding protein in a part of these receptor cells. Clin. Anat., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Journal Article
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Clinical Anatomy
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28 Feb 2014 10:36
Last Modified:
20 Sep 2023 00:36