Our mouths may be home to a newly discovered set of multitasking taste cells ̵1; unlike most known taste cells, which detect individual tastes – capable of detecting shows sour, sweet, bitter and umami stimuli. A research team led by Kathryn Medler at the University of Buffalo reported this discovery in a study published August 13. Heredity of PLOS.
The taste in our mouth is very important to our survival and helps us decide whether food is a good source of nutrients or a potential poison. Taste buds use three types of taste cells: Type I cells act as helper cells; Type II cells detect bitter, sweet, and umami taste; and type III cells detect a salty and sour taste. To better understand how taste cells detect and signal the presence of different tastes, the researchers used a mouse model designed to investigate signal pathways that act as a trigger. object used to transmit taste information to the brain. They discovered a previously unknown subset of Type III cells capable of “broad response” and were able to report sour stimuli by a signaling and sweet stimulus pathway. , bitter and umami by another way.
The idea that mammals could possess highly responsive taste cells has been suggested by many laboratory groups, but before, no one had isolated and identified these cells. Researchers suspect that the broad-response cells significantly contribute to our ability to taste. Their discovery provides new insight into how taste information is sent to the brain for processing and shows that taste buds are much more complex than we do today.
Author Kathryn Medler observed: “Taste cells can selectively or co-respond to stimuli similar to the cells in the brain that process taste information. “Future experiments will focus on understanding how widely the taste buds respond to taste coding.”
So close that the rats can almost taste it
Dutta Banik D, Benfey ED, Martin LE, Kay KE, Loney GC, Nelson AR, et al. (2020) A broadly responsive subset of type III taste cells contribute to the detection of bitter, sweet and umami stimuli. PLoS Genet 16 (8): e1008925. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008925
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