Taste disorders are common adverse effects of cancer chemotherapy that can reduce quality of life and impair nutritional status. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying chemotherapy-induced taste disorders remain largely unknown. Furthermore, there are no effective preventive measures for chemotherapy-induced taste disorders. We investigated the effects of a combination of three anticancer drugs (TPF: docetaxel, cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil) on the structure and function of mouse taste tissues and examined whether the drinking of ice-cold water after TPF administration would attenuate these effects. TPF administration significantly increased the number of cells expressing apoptotic and proliferative markers. Furthermore, TPF administration significantly reduced the number of cells expressing taste cell markers and the magnitudes of the responses of taste nerves to tastants. The above results suggest that anticancer drug-induced taste dysfunction may be due to a reduction in the number of taste cells expressing taste-related molecules. The suppressive effects of TPF on taste cell marker expression and taste perception were reduced by the drinking of ice-cold water. We speculate that oral cryotherapy with an ice cube might be useful for prophylaxis against anticancer drug-induced taste disorders in humans.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry