An investigation of human apocrine gland secretion for axillary odor precursors

Xiao Nong Zeng, James J. Leyden, Joseph G. Brand, Andrew Spielman, Kenneth J. McGinley, George Preti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recently completed studies from our laboratories have demonstrated that the characteristic human male axillary odors consist of C6 to C11 normal, branched, and unsaturated aliphatic acids, with (E)-3-methyl-2-hexenoic acid being the most abundant. To investigate the mechanism by which the odor is formed, it is necessary to determine the nature of the odorless precursor(s) found in the apocrine secretion which is converted by the cutaneous microorganisms to the characteristic axillary odor. Pooled apocrine secretion was obtained from several male volunteers by intracutaneous injection of epinephrine. Partitioning this secretion into aqueous and organic soluble fractions was followed by hydrolysis of each fraction with NaOH or incubation with axillary microorganisms (cutaneous lipophilic corynebacterium). Analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) revealed the presence of (E)- and (Z)-3-methyl-2-hexenoic acid in the aqueous phase hydrolysate and aqueous phase incubated with bacteria; however, only a trace amount was seen in the resultant organic phase mixtures. These results suggest that a water-soluble precursor(s) is converted by the axillary flora to the characteristic axillary odors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1055
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Volume18
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1992

Fingerprint

Apocrine Glands
Odors
secretion
odor
odors
Microorganisms
acids
acid
water
microorganism
microorganisms
Corynebacterium
Skin
epinephrine
hydrolysates
Gas chromatography
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
Epinephrine
volunteers
Mass spectrometry

Keywords

  • (E)-3-methyl-2-hexenoic acid
  • androstenol
  • axillary odor precursors
  • human apocrine gland secretion
  • Human axillary odors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

An investigation of human apocrine gland secretion for axillary odor precursors. / Zeng, Xiao Nong; Leyden, James J.; Brand, Joseph G.; Spielman, Andrew; McGinley, Kenneth J.; Preti, George.

In: Journal of Chemical Ecology, Vol. 18, No. 7, 07.1992, p. 1039-1055.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zeng, Xiao Nong ; Leyden, James J. ; Brand, Joseph G. ; Spielman, Andrew ; McGinley, Kenneth J. ; Preti, George. / An investigation of human apocrine gland secretion for axillary odor precursors. In: Journal of Chemical Ecology. 1992 ; Vol. 18, No. 7. pp. 1039-1055.
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