Gender-specific differences between the concentrations of nonvolatile (R)/(S)-3-methyl-3-sulfanylhexan-1-Ol and (R)/(S)-3-hydroxy-3-methyl-hexanoic acid odor precursors in axillary secretions.
ABSTRACT The volatile fatty acid, (R)/(S)-3-hydroxy-3-methylhexanoic acid ((R)/(S)-HMHA), and the human specific volatile thiol, (R)/(S)-3-methyl-3-sulfanylhexan-1-ol ((R)/(S)-MSH), were recently identified as major components of human sweat malodor. Their 2 corresponding precursors were subsequently isolated from sterile and odorless axillary secretions. The purpose of this work was to analyze these 2 odor precursors in 49 male and female volunteers over a period of 3 years to elucidate to which extent they are implicated in the gender-specific character of body odor. Surprisingly, the ratio between the acid precursor 1, a glutamine conjugate, and the "sulfur" precursor 2, a cysteinylglycine-S-conjugate, was 3 times higher in men than in women with no correlation with either the sweat volume or the protein concentration. Indeed, women have the potential to liberate significantly more (R)/(S)-MSH, which has a tropical fruit- and onion-like odor than (R)/(S)-HMHA (possibly transformed into (E)/(Z)-3-methyl-2-hexenoic acid) that has a cheesy, rancid odor. Parallel to this work, sensory analysis on sweat incubated with isolated skin bacteria (Staphylococcus epidermidis Ax3, Corynebacterium jeikeium American Type Culture Collection 43217, or Staphylococcus haemolyticus Ax4) confirmed that intrinsic composition of sweat is important for the development of body odors and may be modulated by gender differences in bacterial compositions. Sweat samples having the highest sulfur intensity were also found to be the most intense and the most unpleasant.
SourceAvailable from: Vladimir Lazarevic[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Human axillary odour is commonly attributed to the bacterial degradation of precursors in sweat secretions. To assess the role of bacterial communities in the formation of body odours, we used a culture-independent approach to study axillary skin microbiota and correlated these data with olfactory analysis. Twenty-four Caucasian male and female volunteers and four assessors showed that the underarms of non-antiperspirant (non-AP) users have significantly higher global sweat odour intensities and harboured on average about 50 times more bacteria than those of AP users. Global sweat odour and odour descriptors sulfury-cat urine and acid-spicy generally increased from the morning to the afternoon sessions. Among non-AP users, male underarm odours were judged higher in intensity with higher fatty and acid-spicy odours and higher bacterial loads. Although the content of odour precursors in underarm secretions varied widely among individuals, males had a higher acid: sulfur precursor ratio than females did. No direct correlations were found between measured precursor concentration and sweat odours. High-throughput sequencing targeting the 16S rRNA genes of underarm bacteria collected from 11 non-AP users (six females and five males) confirmed the strong dominance of the phyla Firmicutes and Actinobacteria, with 96% of sequences assigned to the genera Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium and Propionibacterium. The proportion of several bacterial taxa showed significant variation between males and females. The genera Anaerococcus and Peptoniphilus and the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from Staphylococcus haemolyticus and the genus Corynebacterium were more represented in males than in females. The genera Corynebacterium and Propionibacterium were correlated and anti-correlated, respectively, with body odours. Within the genus Staphylococcus, different OTUs were either positively or negatively correlated with axillary odour. The relative abundance of five OTUs (three assigned to S. hominis and one each to Corynebacterium tuberculostearicum and Anaerococcus) were positively correlated with at least one underarm olfactory descriptor. Positive and negative correlations between bacterial taxa found at the phylum, genus and OTU levels suggest the existence of mutualism and competition among skin bacteria. Such interactions, and the types and quantities of underarm bacteria, affect the formation of body odours. These findings open the possibility of developing new solutions for odour control.12/2015; 3(1):3. DOI:10.1186/s40168-014-0064-3
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This report details the outcome of the 1st Skin Microbiota Workshop, Boulder, CO, held on October 15th-16th 2012. The workshop was arranged to bring Department of Defense personnel together with experts in microbial ecology, human skin physiology and anatomy, and computational techniques for interrogating the microbiome to define research frontiers at the intersection of these important areas. The workshop outlined a series of questions and created several working groups to address those questions, specifically to promote interdisciplinary activity and potential future collaboration. The US Army provided generous grant support and the meeting was organized and hosted by the University of Colorado at Boulder. A primary forward vision of the meeting was the importance of understanding skin microbial communities to improve the health and stealth of US Army warfighters.Standards in Genomic Sciences 12/2014; 9:13-13. DOI:10.1186/1944-3277-9-13 · 3.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction" Across phyla, chemosensory communication is crucial for mediating a variety of social behaviors, which form the basis for ontogenetic and phylogenetic survival. In the present paper, evidence on chemosensory communication in humans, with special reference to reproduction and survival, will be presented. First, the impact of chemosignals on human reproduction will be reviewed. Work will be presented, showing how chemosensory signals are involved in mate choice and partnership formation by communicating attractiveness and facilitating a partner selection, which is of evolutionary advantage, and furthermore providing information about the level of sexual hormones. In addition to direct effects on phylogenetic survival, chemosignals indirectly aid reproductive success by fostering harm protection. Results will be presented, showing that chemosensory communication aids the emotional bond between mother and child, which in turn motivates parental caretaking and protection, leading to infant survival. Moreover, the likelihood of group survival can be increased through the use of stress-related chemosignals. Stress-related chemosignals induce a stress-related physiology in the perceiver, thereby priming a fight-flight-response, which is necessary for an optimum adaption to environmental harm. Finally, effects of sexual orientation on chemosensory communication will be discussed in terms of their putative role in stabilizing social groups, which might indirectly provide harm protection and foster survival. An integrative model of the presented data will be introduced. In conclusion, an outlook, focusing on the involvement of chemosensory communication in human social behavior and illustrating a novel approach to the significance of chemosensory signals in human survival, will be given. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Hormones and Behavior 02/2015; 68C:134-144. DOI:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2014.10.001 · 4.51 Impact Factor