The brain's reaction to male odor shifts at puberty in children with gender dysphoria

The brains of children with gender dysphoria react to androstadienone, a musky-smelling steroid produced by men, in a way typical of their biological sex, but after puberty according to their experienced gender, finds a study for the first time in the open-access journal Frontiers in Endocrinology.

Around puberty, the testes of men start to produce androstadienone, a breakdown product of testosterone. Men release it in their sweat, especially from the armpits. Its only known function is to work like a pheromone: when women smell androstadienone, their mood tends to improve, their blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing go up, and they may become aroused.

Previous studies have shown that, in , the brain region that responds most to androstadienone is the , which lies just above the brainstem and links the nervous system to the hormonal system. In men with gender dysphoria (formerly called ) – who are born as males, but behave as and identify with women, and want to change sex – the hypothalamus also reacts strongly to its odor. In contrast, the hypothalamus of hardly responds to it.

Girls without gender dysphoria before puberty already show a stronger reaction in the hypothalamus to androstadienone than boys, finds a new study by Sarah Burke and colleagues from the VU University Medical Center of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the University of Liège, Belgium.

The researchers used neuroimaging to also show for the first time that in prepubescent children with gender dysphoria, the hypothalamus reacts to the smell of androstadienone in a way typical of their . Around puberty, its response shifts, and becomes typical of their experienced gender.

The reaction to the smell of androstadienone in the hypothalamus of 154 children and adolescents, including girls and boys, both before (7 to 11-year-old) and after puberty (15 to 16-year-old), of whom 74 had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

Results showed that the hypothalamus was more responsive to androstadienone in 7 to 11-year-old girls than in boys, both without gender dysphoria, although not yet as much as in . This means that the greater receptiveness of women to its odor already exists before puberty, either as an inborn difference or one that arises during early childhood.

Before , the hypothalamus of boys with gender dysphoria hardly reacted to the odor, just as in other boys. But this changed in the 15 to 16-year-olds: the hypothalamus of adolescent boys with gender dysphoria now lit up as much as in heterosexual women, while the other still did not show any reaction. Adolescent girls with gender dysphoria showed the same reaction to androstadienone in their hypothalamus as is typical for heterosexual men.

These results suggest that as children with gender dysphoria grow up, their brain naturally undergoes a partial rewiring, to become more similar to the brain of the opposite sex – so corresponding to their experienced gender.

More information: Hypothalamic response to the chemo-signal androstadienone in gender dysphoric children and adolescents, Frontiers in Endocrinology, journal.frontiersin.org/Journa… .2014.00060/abstract

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JVK
1 / 5 (1) May 28, 2014
From fertilization to adult sexual behavior. http://www.ncbi.n.../9047261

Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology. http://www.ncbi.n...11600881

The Mind's Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences
http://www.sexarc...kohl.htm

Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. http://www.ncbi.n...24693349

Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model. http://www.ncbi.n...24693353

This series of published works (see also the Related citations in PubMed) links what was known about molecular epigenetics in 1996 from the conserved mechanisms of cell type differentiation in yeasts, flies, roundworms et al., to sex differences in yeasts and in human cell types that are obviously nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in species from microbes to man.
JVK
1 / 5 (1) May 28, 2014
Sex pheromone biosynthetic pathways are conserved between moths and the butterfly Bicyclus anynana http://dx.doi.org...omms4957 is an open access article.

Excerpt: Our study provides the first evidence of conservation and sharing of ancestral genetic modules for the production of FA-derived pheromones over a long evolutionary timeframe thereby reconciling mate communication in moths and butterflies.

See also:
Organizational and activational effects of hormones on insect behavior
http://www.ncbi.n...10980296

Honey bees as a model for understanding mechanisms of life history transitions
http://www.ncbi.n...15925525

Taken together, these articles do more that merely suggest a link from human pheromones to the development of sexual preferences manifested during the transition from adrenarche to puberty. They show how the epigenetic landscape becomes the physical landscape of DNA via conserved molecular mechanisms in species from microbes to man.
JVK
1 / 5 (1) May 29, 2014
It's not surprising to see this news get so much attention, but attention should also be focused on what evolutionary theorists have not been telling us about biologically-based cause and effect that links food preferences and sexual preferences via conserved molecular mechanisms in species from microbes to man.

For instance, when did an evolutionary theorist ever comment on this fact:

With the recent discovery that non-coding microRNA's in food are capable of directly altering gene expression within human physiology,[1] this new study further concretizes the notion that the age old aphorism 'you are what you eat' is now consistent with cutting edge molecular biology. http://news360.co...40380784

It's the metabolism of food to species-specific pheromones that links microRNAs to ecological adaptations without mutations and natural selection. The systems complexity is addressed in these Exosome publications. http://www.pubfac.../Exosome and in my published works.
JVK
1 / 5 (1) May 29, 2014
Molecular mechanisms for the inheritance of acquired characteristics—exosomes, microRNA shuttling, fear and stress: Lamarck resurrected? http://www.fronti...14.00133

This article available for free and links nutrient stress to social stress via epigenetic effects on the microRNA/messenger RNA balance, which determines morphological and behavioral phenotypes via cell type differentiation in individuals of different species.

Ask any evolutionary theorist about this obvious link between the epigenetic landscape and the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genome -- if only to see the blank look on their face, or listen to them attempt to fake their way through an alternative explanation that involves mutations and natural selection for something besides food.
anonymous_9001
5 / 5 (2) May 30, 2014
For instance, when did an evolutionary theorist ever comment on this fact:

With the recent discovery that non-coding microRNA's in food are capable of directly altering gene expression


As I've told you many times before, altering expression =/= altering sequence. That is not at all at odds with mutation and natural selection.
JVK
1 / 5 (1) May 30, 2014
Tell me HOW mutations and natural selection result in increasing organismal complexity so that others can compare your thoughts about pseudoscientific nonsense to my detailed model of conserved molecular mechanisms that link species from microbes to man.

http://medicalxpr...ses.html

Jounal article abstract excerpt: "DNA methylation patterns are dysregulated in ectodermal cells in these individuals, having accounted for confounding effects due to subject age, sex and ancestral haplotype."

DNA methylation is nutrient-dependent which explains how alternative splicings of pre-mRNA result in amino acid substitutions that differentiate cell types like those that link the de novo creation of the olfactory receptor gene: OR2L13, to differences in morphological and behavioral phenotypes.

You imply that "...is not at all at odds with mutation and natural selection." I'm saying that you are an anonymous fool who knows nothing about molecular biology.
anonymous_9001
5 / 5 (2) May 30, 2014
alternative splicings of pre-mRNA result in amino acid substitutions that differentiate cell types


I've tried to be very clear in regards to this, but apparently unable to comprehend.

Alternative splicing and cell type differentiation are gene EXPRESSION differences between cells with otherwise identical genomes.

Obviously, genomes are not static over evolutionary timespans, so EXPRESSION changes do not drive evolution. SEQUENCE changes also occur. The epigenome is not the same as the genome. Your 2013 paper as it is right now, makes no mention of how genomic changes occur. If you're going to post-hoc Shapiro's natural genetic engineering into it, you still need to understand they're merely more ways of creating mutations.
JVK
1 / 5 (1) May 30, 2014
I asked you to

Tell me HOW mutations and natural selection result in increasing organismal complexity so that others can compare your thoughts about pseudoscientific nonsense to my detailed model of conserved molecular mechanisms that link species from microbes to man.


I've asked you before to quit regurgitating your pseudoscientific nonsense because you know nothing about molecular biology. Gene duplication is nutrient-dependent, which means that cell type differentiation is epigenetically effected by nutrients and controlled by the physiology of reproduction, which also happens to be nutrient-dependent because nutrients metabolize to species-specific pheromones that also alter the microRNA/messenger RNA balance......................................................and.............................cell type.................... differentiation in species from insects to elephants .
anonymous_9001
5 / 5 (2) May 30, 2014
Gene duplication is nutrient-dependent


Processes are dependent on their precursors!? No way! Cells don't just pull nucleotides and ATP out of thin air. For the thousandth time, "nutrient-dependent" doesn't mean anything. It's just like saying cars are gasoline-dependent.

cell type differentiation is epigenetically effected by nutrients


Duh. Is anybody contesting this? Cell type differentiation is the process by which different cell types result from the same genome within an organism. Obviously, not all organisms have the same genome, so you can't explain the entirety of evolution through epigenetic processes.

insects to elephants


Haha. Got yourself a new goofy catchphrase? Was microbes to man getting a bit stale?

On to your question:

http://www.pnas.o...463.full
JVK
1 / 5 (1) May 30, 2014
Does anyone who has read anything published since 1999 know how cell type differentiation occurs? The anonymous fool appears to think that mutations cause changes that are beneficial to increasing organismal complexity.

http://dx.doi.org.../505621a
anonymous_9001
5 / 5 (1) May 31, 2014
Cell type differentiation is intraorganismal. It's the process that occurs within multicellular organisms that changes stem cells to specialized cells and tissues over the course of the organism's development.

It's not at all synonymous to the genetic changes to occur over many generations. You're trying to equate growth and development to evolution and it just doesn't work.
JVK
1 / 5 (1) May 31, 2014
I'm equating nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations manifested in cell type differentiation and in morphological and behavioral phenotypes with Darwin's 'conditions of life' that enable growth and development that is clearly linked to ecological variation.

You're touting the pseudoscientific nonsense of population genetics (e.g., the invention of neo-Darwinism) and continuing to make no sense at all by not telling us how mutations lead to natural selection and evolution of biodiversity associated with random errors.
JVK
1 / 5 (1) May 31, 2014
Although anonymous fools portray them in the context of random mutations, natural selection, and evolution "Gene expression programs activated in response to, or in anticipation of, environmental changes involve sequential steps, from transcription and RNA processing to nuclear export and translation. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of the multiple regulatory layers that control the oscillations in gene expression associated with daily rhythms in metabolism and physiology across eukaryotic organisms. Whereas many genes show coordinated oscillations in transcription, RNA processing and translation, others show significant temporal disconnections between these processes. Thus, circadian oscillations constitute an ideal system for examining how multiple transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory steps are integrated to maximize organismal adjustments to environmental conditions."
http://www.scienc...14000136
anonymous_9001
5 / 5 (1) May 31, 2014
Gene expression programs


I can't believe I have to point this out over and over.

Key word: EXPRESSION

Changes to expression are not the same as sequence changes.
JVK
1 / 5 (1) May 31, 2014
"Given that there are so many mechanisms, processes, and trait-specific interactions at work in an ecosystem, they can effectively be ignored."
http://www.scienc...14001037

Key word: ECOSYSTEM

Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems
http://figshare.c...s/994281

Clearly, the anonymous fool chooses ignorance of my atoms to ecosystems model and would rather try to discuss the difference between expression and sequence changes.

However, as always, the anonymous fool will not tell anyone how mutations and natural selection result in beneficial sequence changes or changes in gene expression. Is there a model for that?
Captain Stumpy
not rated yet Jun 02, 2014
However, as always, the anonymous fool will not tell anyone how mutations and natural selection result in beneficial sequence changes or changes in gene expression. Is there a model for that?
@jk
I don't see you reading up here http://myxo.css.m...dex.html
and attacking his work... why not?
after all, he as single handedly undermined your whole belief system!

also... given that your model creates mutations, I still don't understand WHY you keep saying that mutations cannot be beneficial!!!!

you claim that YOUR MODEL is beneficial and since your model creates mutations, therefore mutations must be selected for and beneficial at times! THEREFORE you are arguing that EITHER your model is wrong OR that you cannot understand the basic definitions of the chosen lexicon in your field.

Its not rocket science... just pure logic!
JVK
1 / 5 (1) Jun 02, 2014
The Black Queen Hypothesis: Evolution of Dependencies through Adaptive Gene Loss -- co-authored by Lenski, refutes the ideas about mutations, natural selection, and evolution that others still tout (and attribute to him). http://mbio.asm.o...abstract
Captain Stumpy
not rated yet Jun 04, 2014
The Black Queen Hypothesis:...refutes the ideas about mutations, natural selection, and evolution that others still tout (and attribute to him). http://mbio.asm.o...abstract
@jk
I see... and you will have to spell out exactly where in that paper your basis for the comment "refutes the ideas about mutations, natural selection, and evolution" comes from as I don't think you know what you are talking about...

I DO find it interesting that you refuse to direct your attacks with your pheromone model at Lenski directly. Instead, you rant here about how we are all idiots... and then you post links (like above) that do not support your conclusions. Did you even read it? or just the abstract?

Tell you what... just post what you saw in the paper that supports you idea above about refuting mutation. We will go from there.
JVK
1 / 5 (1) Jun 04, 2014
The Black Queen hypothesis is that organisms evolve to become simpler. It refutes theories about mutation-initiated natural selection and biodiversity based on increased organismal complexity.

Lenski might have been one of the first to realize that loss of olfactory receptor genes would result from the conserved molecular mechanisms of ecological adaptation, but he was probably already too wrapped up in evolutionary theory to even begin to attempt to explain the reality of biologically based cause and effect to others.

Besides, serious scientists typically do not care what anonymous fools and idiot minions of biology teachers like PZ Myers think, which is why they do not enter discussions with him and others about anything. My concern is that there are too many people like you, the anonymous fool, and PZ Myers who influence others who will not learn anything about the current extant literature that refutes the pseudoscientific nonsense of theory.
Captain Stumpy
not rated yet Jun 04, 2014
based on increased organismal complexity
@jk
this is the ONLY part that you got right.
as for your Lenski quote... tell you what, why dont you ask him directly? why are you so afraid of attacking him like you attack everyone else here? maybe because he actually knows what is going on and you fear the complete destruction of your psychological delusion which you call home? Ya cant fight empirical data unless you are crazy, stupid or mentally deficient, and you seem to ignore any empirical data that doesn't jibe with your religious belief which is the basis of your pheromone perfume theory (which, by the way, is PART of evolution and causes mutations, so every attack you dish out to the 'idiot minions' is really just making YOU look more like the moron crackpot)
By the way... The current extant literature SUPPORTS evolution, NOT vice versa. even your own model supports evolution! by your own admission! ya crackpot

you fear the educated man which is why you fear Lenski

Captain Stumpy
not rated yet Jun 04, 2014

The Black Queen hypothesis is that organisms evolve to become simpler
@jk
organisms CAN evolve to become simpler. not WILL
There is a tendency in evolutionary discourse to describe life's history as a progression towards increasing complexity. However,there is no reason to expect that complexity will be selectively advantageous at all times and for all species
also, there is NO PROOF in that theory that refutes mutations
The Black Queen Hypothesis seeks to explain reductive genome evolution in some free-living microbial lineages, and it can also explain why certain essential functions are nonetheless rare within some communities. It presents a scenario whereby individual-level selection creates a division of labor in microbial communities that, like organizations in humans and other social animals, is often to the advantage of all
so NO, it does NOT refute mutation or support your aversion to the word
anonymous_9001
5 / 5 (1) Jun 04, 2014
The Black Queen hypothesis is that organisms evolve to become simpler. It refutes theories about mutation-initiated natural selection and biodiversity based on increased organismal complexity.


Increased complexity is not necessarily a requirement of evolution. Eye regression of cave fish, for example, is due to mutation of regulatory genes that prevent the formation of the eye. Because they live in complete darkness, there was no selective pressure against losing the eye and it also conserves energy by not wasting it on the unnecessary development.

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