La 2-heptanona produce cambios sensorio-emocionales, dependiendo del tiempo de exposición

Ana G. Gutiérrez-García, Carlos M. Contreras & Remedios Mendoza-López Universidad Veracruzana, México


2-Heptanone is an alarm pheromone contained in some human fluids, but its role is unknown in chemical communication. In part one of this study, a sample of 24 women provided urine specimens taken around their supposed ovulation days, and a second sample 12 days later. As exclusion criteria, women with anxiety (based on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Spielberger), mood disorders (based on the Clinical Diagnosis of Depression Questionnaire), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (based on the Daily Symptoms Report) were not included in the study. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry indicated that urinary 2-heptanone content was increased approximately two-fold during pre-menstruation compared with the days around ovulation. In part two of this study, 141 male and female volunteers, sniffed this ketone and with a simple questionnaire it was determined that the longest tested duration (180 s) of sniffing 2-heptanone lowered the acceptance of sniffing this ketone again, compared with the shorter sniffing durations (5 and 60 s), with no differences between sexes. The increased concentration of 2-heptanone during the day before menstruation may be considered as part of the functional changes preceding menstruation and sniffing this ketone may produce sensorial-emotional changes depending on time of sniffing, the significance of this deserves further study.

Keywords: 2-Heptanone, Chemosignals, Menstrual cycle, Pheromones, Olfactory system


La 2-heptanona es una feromona de alarma detectable en algunos fluidos humanos, pero se desconoce su papel en la comunicación química. En la primer parte del estudio, 24 mujeres jóvenes y sanas, proveyeron una primera muestra de orina alrededor del día de ovulación y una segunda 12 días más tarde. Como criterio de exclusión, se descartaron mujeres con ansiedad (Inventario de Ansiedad Estado-Rasgo, Spielberger), trastornos del estado de ánimo (Cuestionario de diagnóstico clínico de depresión) y trastorno disfórico premenstrual (basado en los síntomas diarios de informe). La cromatografía de gases/espectrometría de masas indicó que el contenido urinario de 2-heptanona aumentó aproximadamente al doble antes de la menstruación en comparación con los días cercanos a la ovulación. En la segunda parte del estudio, otros 141 voluntarios (femeninos y masculinos) inhalaron esta cetona y con ello se determinó que con el tiempo más prolongado (180 s) de exposición por olfateo a la 2-heptanona disminuyó la aceptación para olerla nuevamente, en comparación con los tiempos más cortos de olfateo (5 y 60 s). Lo anterior se evidenció mediante las respuestas a un cuestionario simple. No hubo diferencias significativas por género. El aumento de la concentración urinaria de 2-heptanona, durante el día antes de la menstruación, se consideraría como parte de los cambios funcionales premenstruales y el hecho de oler esta cetona produciría cambios sensorial-emocionales dependiendo del tiempo de exposición, cuyo significado requiere mayor estudio.

Palabras clave: 2-heptanona, quimioseñales, ciclo menstrual, feromonas, sistema olfatorio

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