Taste sensation is the gatekeeper for direct decisions on feeding behavior and evaluating the quality of food. Nutritious and beneficial substances such as sugars and amino acids are represented by sweet and umami tastes, respectively, whereas noxious substances and toxins by bitter or sour tastes. Essential electrolytes including Na+ and other ions are recognized by the salty taste. Gustatory information is initially generated by taste buds in the oral cavity, projected into the central nervous system, and finally processed to provide input signals for food recognition, regulation of metabolism and physiology, and higher-order brain functions such as learning and memory, emotion, and reward. Therefore, understanding the peripheral taste system is fundamental for the development of technologies to regulate the endocrine system and improve whole-body metabolism. In this review article, we introduce previous widely-accepted views on the physiology and genetics of peripheral taste cells and primary gustatory neurons, and discuss key findings from the past decade that have raised novel questions or solved previously raised questions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grants funded by the Korea Government (NRF-2016R1A5A2008630 to Seok Jun Moon, NRF-2020R1-A4A3078962 to Obin Kwon and NRF-2019R1C1C1006751 and NRF-2020R1A4A3078962 to Yong Taek Jeong), by Creative-Pioneering Researchers Program through Seoul National University (to Obin Kwon), and by Korea University Grant (K1923721 to Yong Taek Jeong).
© 2021 Korean Endocrine Society.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism