Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Enhanced sweet taste: Endocannabinoids act directly on tongue taste receptors

Date:
December 23, 2009
Source:
Monell Chemical Senses Center
Summary:
New findings show that endocannabinoids act directly on tongue taste receptors to specifically enhance sweet taste. The findings suggest that modulation of sweet taste responses may be an important component of the endocannabinoid system's role in regulating feeding behavior and may open doors to the development of novel therapeutic compounds to combat metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Endocannabinoids are substances similar to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

New findings from the Monell Center and Kyushu University in Japan report that endocannabinoids act directly on taste receptors on the tongue to enhance sweet taste.

Related Articles


"Our taste cells may be more involved in regulating our appetites than we had previously known," said study author Robert Margolskee, M.D., Ph.D., a Monell molecular biologist. "Better understanding of the driving forces for eating and overeating could lead to interventions to stem the burgeoning rise in obesity and related diseases."

Endocannabinoids are substances similar to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Produced in the brain and body, they bind with cannabinoid receptors to help regulate appetite and many other processes involved in health and disease.

"Endocannabinoids both act in the brain to increase appetite and also modulate taste receptors on the tongue to increase the response to sweets," said study senior author Yuzo Ninomiya, Ph.D., Professor of Oral Neuroscience in the Graduate School of Dental Sciences at Kyushu University in Japan.

In the study, published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers conducted a series of experiments in mice to determine the behavioral, neural and cellular responses to sweet taste stimuli before and after the administration of endocannabinoids.

Sweet taste responses were enhanced by endocannabinoids in every case. The effect was specific for sweet taste, as endocannibinoids had no effect on responses to sour, salty, bitter or umami taste stimuli.

The effects were abolished when the experiments were repeated using knockout mice lacking the CB1 cannabinoid receptor. Additional studies revealed that the CB1 receptor and the T1R3 sweet taste receptor are present in the same taste cells.

Together, the experiments demonstrate that endocannabinoids selectively enhance sweet taste by acting on tongue taste cells and that the effect is mediated by the endocannabinoid receptor.

"Modulation of sweet taste responses may be an important component of the endocannabinoid system's role in regulating feeding behavior," said Margolskee. He parenthetically noted that the well-known "marijuana munchies" may depend at least in part on endocannabinoid stimulation of tongue taste cells.

Sweet taste receptors also are found in the intestine and pancreas, where they help regulate nutrient absorption, insulin secretion and energy metabolism. If endocannibinoids also modulate the responses of pancreatic and intestinal sweet receptors, the findings may open doors to the development of novel therapeutic compounds to combat metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

Also contributing to the study were Ryusuke Yoshida, Tadahiro Ohkuri, Masafumi Jyotaki, Toshiaki Yasuo, Nao Horio, Keiko Yasumatsu, Keisuke Sanematsu, Noriatsu Shigemura, Yuzo Ninomiya from Kyushu University and Tsuneyuki Yamamoto from Nagasaki International University.

The research was funded by grants from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Monell Chemical Senses Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Monell Chemical Senses Center. "Enhanced sweet taste: Endocannabinoids act directly on tongue taste receptors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222104920.htm>.
Monell Chemical Senses Center. (2009, December 23). Enhanced sweet taste: Endocannabinoids act directly on tongue taste receptors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222104920.htm
Monell Chemical Senses Center. "Enhanced sweet taste: Endocannabinoids act directly on tongue taste receptors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222104920.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Learn how to make a mixed green salad topped with a pan-seared camembert cheese in only a minute! Music: Courtesy of Audio Network. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) It looks like this 2-month-old Husky puppy and the family ferret are going to be the best of friends. Look at how much fun they&apos;re having together! Credit to &apos;Vira&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Buzz60 (Jan. 26, 2015) Swiss scientists build a new drone that can both fly and walk, modeling it after the movements of common vampire bats. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins