Roles of chemical mediators in the taste system

Takashi Yamamoto, Takatoshi Nagai, Tsuyoshi Shimura, Yasunobu Yasoshima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent advances in neural mechanisms of taste are reviewed with special reference to neuroactive substances. In the first section, taste transduction mechanisms of basic tastes are explained in two groups, whether taste stimuli directly activate ion channels in the taste cell membrane or they bind to cell surface receptors coupled to intracellular signaling pathways. In the second section, putative transmitters and modulators from taste cells to afferent nerves are summarized. The candidates include acetylcholine, catecholamines, serotonin, amino acids and peptides. Studies favor serotonin as a possible neuromodulator in the taste bud. In the third section, the role of neuroactive substances in the central gustatory pathways is introduced. Excitatory and inhibitory amino acids (e.g., glutamate and GABA) and peptides (substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide) are proved to play roles in transmission of taste information in both the brainstem relay and cortical gustatory area. In the fourth section, conditioned taste aversion is introduced as a model to study gustatory learning and memory. Pharmacobehavioral studies to examine the effects of glutamate receptor antagonists and protein kinase C inhibitors on the formation of conditioned taste aversion show that both glutamate and protein kinase C in the amygdala and cortical gustatory area play essential roles in taste aversion learning. Recent molecular and genetic approaches to disclose biological mechanisms of gustatory learning are also introduced. In the last section, behavioral and pharmacological approaches to elucidate palatability, taste pleasure, are described. Dopamine, benzodiazepine derivatives and opioid substances may play some roles in evaluation of palatability and motivation to ingest palatable edibles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-348
Number of pages24
JournalJapanese Journal of Pharmacology
Volume76
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Apr
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

glutamate 5-kinase
Learning
Protein Kinase C
Serotonin
Taste Buds
Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
Excitatory Amino Acids
Pleasure
Protein C Inhibitor
Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
Cell Surface Receptors
Protein Kinase Inhibitors
Substance P
Benzodiazepines
Ion Channels
gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
Opioid Analgesics
Brain Stem
Acetylcholine
Catecholamines

Keywords

  • Conditioned taste aversion
  • Neuromodulator
  • Neuropeptide
  • Neurotransmitter
  • Palatability
  • Taste cell
  • Taste transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Molecular Medicine

Cite this

Yamamoto, T., Nagai, T., Shimura, T., & Yasoshima, Y. (1998). Roles of chemical mediators in the taste system. Japanese Journal of Pharmacology, 76(4), 325-348. https://doi.org/10.1254/jjp.76.325

Roles of chemical mediators in the taste system. / Yamamoto, Takashi; Nagai, Takatoshi; Shimura, Tsuyoshi; Yasoshima, Yasunobu.

In: Japanese Journal of Pharmacology, Vol. 76, No. 4, 04.1998, p. 325-348.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yamamoto, T, Nagai, T, Shimura, T & Yasoshima, Y 1998, 'Roles of chemical mediators in the taste system', Japanese Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 76, no. 4, pp. 325-348. https://doi.org/10.1254/jjp.76.325
Yamamoto, Takashi ; Nagai, Takatoshi ; Shimura, Tsuyoshi ; Yasoshima, Yasunobu. / Roles of chemical mediators in the taste system. In: Japanese Journal of Pharmacology. 1998 ; Vol. 76, No. 4. pp. 325-348.
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