Impact of obesity on taste receptor expression in extra-oral tissues: emphasis on hypothalamus and brainstem

D Herrera Moro Chao, C Argmann, M Van Eijk, R G Boot, R Ottenhoff, C Van Roomen, E Foppen, J E Siljee, U A Unmehopa, A Kalsbeek, J M F G Aerts

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Sweet perception promotes food intake, whereas that of bitterness is inhibitory. Surprisingly, the expression of sweet G protein-coupled taste receptor (GPCTR) subunits (T1R2 and T1R3) and bitter GPCTRs (T2R116, T2R118, T2R138 and T2R104), as well as the α-subunits of the associated signalling complex (αGustducin, Gα14 and αTransducin), in oral and extra-oral tissues from lean and obese mice, remains poorly characterized. We focused on the impact of obesity on taste receptor expression in brain areas involved in energy homeostasis, namely the hypothalamus and brainstem. We demonstrate that many of the GPCTRs and α-subunits are co-expressed in these tissues and that obesity decreases expression of T1R3, T2R116, Gα14, αTrans and TRPM5. In vitro high levels of glucose caused a prominent down-regulation of T1R2 and Gα14 expression in cultured hypothalamic neuronal cells, leptin caused a transient down-regulation of T1R2 and T1R3 expression. Intriguingly, expression differences were also observed in other extra-oral tissues of lean and obese mice, most strikingly in the duodenum where obesity reduced the expression of most bitter and sweet receptors. In conclusion, obesity influences components of sweet and bitter taste sensing in the duodenum as well as regions of the mouse brain involved in energy homeostasis, including hypothalamus and brainstem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29094
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 09 Jul 2016


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