What is a pheromone? Mammalian pheromones reconsidered

Neuron. 2005 Jun 2;46(5):699-702. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2005.04.032.


Pheromone communication is a two-component system: signaling pheromones and receiving sensory neurons. Currently, pheromones remain enigmatic bioactive compounds, as only a few have been identified, but classical bioassays have suggested that they are nonvolatile, activate vomeronasal sensory neurons, and regulate innate social behaviors and neuroendocrine release. Recent discoveries of potential pheromones reveal that they may be more structurally and functionally diverse than previously defined.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Pheromones / metabolism
  • Pheromones / physiology*
  • Pheromones, Human / metabolism
  • Pheromones, Human / physiology


  • Pheromones
  • Pheromones, Human