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J Neurosci. 2013 Apr 24;33(17):7559-64. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0372-13.2013.

Gustatory stimuli representing different perceptual qualities elicit distinct patterns of neuropeptide secretion from taste buds.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


Taste stimuli that evoke different perceptual qualities (e.g., sweet, umami, bitter, sour, salty) are detected by dedicated subpopulations of taste bud cells that use distinct combinations of sensory receptors and transduction molecules. Here, we report that taste stimuli also elicit unique patterns of neuropeptide secretion from taste buds that are correlated with those perceptual qualities. We measured tastant-dependent secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucagon, and neuropeptide Y (NPY) from circumvallate papillae of Tas1r3(+/+), Tas1r3(+/-) and Tas1r3 (-/-) mice. Isolated tongue epithelia were mounted in modified Ussing chambers, permitting apical stimulation of taste buds; secreted peptides were collected from the basal side and measured by specific ELISAs. Appetitive stimuli (sweet: glucose, sucralose; umami: monosodium glutamate; polysaccharide: Polycose) elicited GLP-1 and NPY secretion and inhibited basal glucagon secretion. Sweet and umami stimuli were ineffective in Tas1r3(-/-) mice, indicating an obligatory role for the T1R3 subunit common to the sweet and umami taste receptors. Polycose responses were unaffected by T1R3 deletion, consistent with the presence of a distinct polysaccharide taste receptor. The effects of sweet stimuli on peptide secretion also required the closing of ATP-sensitive K(+) (KATP) channels, as the KATP channel activator diazoxide inhibited the effects of glucose and sucralose on both GLP-1 and glucagon release. Both sour citric acid and salty NaCl increased NPY secretion but had no effects on GLP-1 or glucagon. Bitter denatonium showed no effects on these peptides. Together, these results suggest that taste stimuli of different perceptual qualities elicit unique patterns of neuropeptide secretion from taste buds.

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