Our mouths may be home to a newly discovered group of highly demanding taste cells that ̵1; unlike the most popular taste cells, which detect individual tastes – are capable of detecting sour, sweet, bitter and umami stimuli. . A research team led by Kathryn Medler at the University of Buffalo reports this finding in a study published Aug. 13 in PLOS Genetics.
Taste flowers in the mouth are essential for our survival and help us decide if a food is a good source of nutrients or a potential poison. Flavor plants use three types of taste buds: Type I cells act as support cells; Type II cells reveal bitter, sweet and umami tastes; and type III cells reveal sour and salty odor. To better understand how taste cells detect and signal the presence of different flavors, the researchers used a mouse engineering model to investigate the signaling pathways that animals use to transmit taste information to the brain. They discovered a previously unknown subset of type III cells that were “broadly responsive” and could report sour stimuli using one signaling pathway, and sweet, bitter and umami stimuli using another.
The idea that mammals can possess widely responsible cells has been debunked by numerous laboratory groups, but previously, no one had isolated and identified these cells. Researchers suspect that broadly responsive cells make a significant contribution to our ability to enjoy. Their discovery provides a new insight into how taste information is sent to the brain for processing and suggests that taste buds are much more complex than we currently estimate.
“Taste cells can be either selective or generally responsive to stimuli that is similar to brain cells that process taste information,” commented author Kathryn Medler. “Experiments in the future will focus on understanding how responsive taste cells contribute to taste coding.”
So close, rats can almost taste it
Dutta Banik D, Benfey ED, Martin LE, Kay KE, Loney GC, Nelson AR, et al. (2020) A group of type III broadly responsive taste cells contribute to the detection of bitter, sweet and umami stimuli. PLoS Genet 16 (8): e1008925. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008925
Provided by the Public Library of Sciences
citation: The new type of taste cell discovered in the taste buds (2020, August 13) was retrieved on August 13, 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-08-cell-buds.html
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