Gustatory signaling begins with taste receptor cells that express taste receptors. Recent molecular biological studies have identified taste receptors and transduction components for basic tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami). Activation of these receptor systems leads to depolarization and an increase in [Ca2+]i in taste receptor cells. Then transmitters are released from taste cells and activate gustatory nerve fibers. The connection between taste cells and gustatory nerve fibers would be specific because there may be only limited divergence of taste information at the peripheral transmission. Recent studies have demonstrated that sweet taste information can be modulated by hormones or other endogenous factors that could act on their receptors in a specific group of taste cells. These peripheral modulations of taste information may influence preference behavior and food intake. This paper summarizes data on molecular mechanisms for detection and transduction of taste signals in taste bud cells, information transmission from taste cells to gustatory nerve fibers, and modulation of taste signals at peripheral taste organs, in particular for sweet taste, which may play important roles in regulating energy homeostasis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science