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J Lipid Res. 2013 Sep;54(9):2485-94. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M039446. Epub 2013 Jul 9.

Obesity alters the gustatory perception of lipids in the mouse: plausible involvement of lingual CD36.

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  • 1Physiologie de la Nutrition et Toxicologie (NUTox), UMR U866 INSERM/Université de Bourgogne/AgroSup Dijon, F-21000 Dijon, France.


A relationship between orosensory detection of dietary lipids, regulation of fat intake, and body mass index was recently suggested. However, involved mechanisms are poorly understood. Moreover, whether obesity can directly modulate preference for fatty foods remains unknown. To address this question, exploration of the oral lipid sensing system was undertaken in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. By using a combination of biochemical, physiological, and behavioral approaches, we found that i) the attraction for lipids is decreased in obese mice, ii) this behavioral change has an orosensory origin, iii) it is reversed in calorie-restricted DIO mice, revealing an inverse correlation between fat preference and adipose tissue size, iv) obesity suppresses the lipid-mediated downregulation of the lipid-sensor CD36 in circumvallate papillae, usually found during the refeeding of lean mice, and v) the CD36-dependent signaling cascade controlling the intracellular calcium levels ([Ca(2+)]i) in taste bud cells is decreased in obese mice. Therefore, obesity alters the lipid-sensing system responsible for the oral perception of dietary lipids. This phenomenon seems to take place through a CD36-mediated mechanism, leading to changes in eating behavior.


calcium imaging; health; long-chain fatty acids; taste sensitivity

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