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Science. 2005 Jul 29;309(5735):781-5.

Genetic tracing shows segregation of taste neuronal circuitries for bitter and sweet.

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Department of Physiology and Oral Physiology, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University, Kasumi 1-2-3, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 734-8553, Japan.


The recent discovery of mammalian bitter, sweet, and umami taste receptors indicates how the different taste qualities are encoded at the periphery. However, taste representations in the brain remain elusive. We used a genetic approach to visualize the neuronal circuitries of bitter and sweet tastes in mice to gain insight into how taste recognition is accomplished in the brain. By selectively expressing a transsynaptic tracer in either bitter- or sweet and/or umami-responsive taste receptor cells, and by comparing the locations of the tracer-labeled neurons in the brain, our data revealed the potential neuronal bases that underlie discrimination of bitter versus sweet.

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