Enzyme Immunoassay of Testosterone, 17β-Estradiol, and Progesterone in Perspiration and Urine of Preadolescents and Young Adults: Exceptional Levels in Men's Axillary Perspiration
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Enzyme immunoassays for testosterone, 17beta-estradiol, and progesterone were validated for human facial and axillary perspiration and compared to levels in urine. In study 1, these assays were applied to samples from preadolescent girls and boys and young women and men. Men's axillary perspiration contained substantially higher levels of steroids than seen in other substrates from men or in any sample from women, boys, and girls. Male axillary steroid levels were very variable across individuals, and on average they exceeded levels in facial perspiration by 90-fold for testosterone and 45-fold for estradiol. Men's urinary testosterone also exceeded urinary levels of the other subjects. In study 2, axillary perspiration, urine, and saliva were collected from young men. Substantial axillary levels of testosterone and estradiol were again observed. Correlations of the same hormone among the different substrates were generally very low, except for a small correlation between estradiol levels measured in axillary perspiration and urine in study 2. High unconjugated steroid content in men's axillary excretions could, if absorbed by women during intimacy, be implicated in pheromonal activity.
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