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Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2015 Dec;15(12):72. doi: 10.1007/s11882-015-0571-8.

The Role of Bitter and Sweet Taste Receptors in Upper Airway Immunity.

Author information

1
Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, 5th Floor Ravdin Building, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.
2
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
3
Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, 5th Floor Ravdin Building, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA. gnoam.cohen@gmail.com.
4
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. gnoam.cohen@gmail.com.
5
Monell Smell and Taste Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA. gnoam.cohen@gmail.com.
6
Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA. gnoam.cohen@gmail.com.

Abstract

Over the past several years, taste receptors have emerged as key players in the regulation of innate immune defenses in the mammalian respiratory tract. Several cell types in the airway, including ciliated epithelial cells, solitary chemosensory cells, and bronchial smooth muscle cells, all display chemoresponsive properties that utilize taste receptors. A variety of bitter products secreted by microbes are detected with resultant downstream inflammation, increased mucous clearance, antimicrobial peptide secretion, and direct bacterial killing. Genetic variation of bitter taste receptors also appears to play a role in the susceptibility to infection in respiratory disease states, including that of chronic rhinosinusitis. Ongoing taste receptor research may yield new therapeutics that harness innate immune defenses in the respiratory tract and may offer alternatives to antibiotic treatment. The present review discusses taste receptor-protective responses and analyzes the role these receptors play in mediating airway immune function.

KEYWORDS:

Airway immune function; Bitter taste receptor; Solitary chemosensory cell; Sweet taste receptor; T2R38; Upper airway immunity

PMID:
26492878
PMCID:
PMC4830640
DOI:
10.1007/s11882-015-0571-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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