Elucidating taste sensing systems in chickens is an important step toward understanding poultry nutrition. Amino acid taste receptors, type 1 taste receptors 1 and 3 (T1R1 and T1R3, respectively), are expressed in chicken taste cells, and chicken T1R1/T1R3 is activated by L-alanine (L-Ala) and L-serine (L-Ser), but not by L-proline (L-Pro). However, it is not clear whether chickens have a gustatory perception of L-amino acids. Here, we found that chickens conditioned to avoid either L-Ala, L-Ser, or L-Pro solutions could successfully learn to avoid the corresponding L-amino acid solution in the conditioned taste aversion (CTA) test. Because CTA is a well-established learning paradigm generated specifically by pairing gustatory perception and gastrointestinal malaise, the present study suggests that chickens can sense L-amino acids by gustatory perception. In addition, we found that the expression of the T1R1 and T1R3 genes was significantly downregulated in response to chronic exposure to L-Ala solution, but not to acute oral stimulation. Taken together, the present study suggests that chickens have a gustatory perception of L-amino acids, and the expression of T1R1/T1R3 mRNAs in the oral cavity can be regulated by L-amino acid intake. Since chickens can detect L-Pro solutions, additional amino acid receptors, other than T1R1/T1R3, may be involved in L-amino acid taste detection in chickens.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology