Modulation of sweet responses of taste receptor cells

Ryusuke Yoshida, Mayu Niki, Masafumi Jyotaki, Keisuke Sanematsu, Noriatsu Shigemura, Yuzo Ninomiya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Taste receptor cells play a major role in detection of chemical compounds in the oral cavity. Information derived from taste receptor cells, such as sweet, bitter, salty, sour and umami is important for evaluating the quality of food components. Among five basic taste qualities, sweet taste is very attractive for animals and influences food intake. Recent studies have demonstrated that sweet taste sensitivity in taste receptor cells would be affected by leptin and endocannabinoids. Leptin is an anorexigenic mediator that reduces food intake by acting on leptin receptor Ob-Rb in the hypothalamus. Endocannabinoids such as anandamide [N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA)] and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) are known as orexigenic mediators that act via cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) in the hypothalamus and limbic forebrain to induce appetite and stimulate food intake. At the peripheral gustatory organs, leptin selectively suppresses and endocannabinoids selectively enhance sweet taste sensitivity via Ob-Rb and CB1 expressed in sweet sensitive taste cells. Thus leptin and endocannabinoids not only regulate food intake via central nervous systems but also modulate palatability of foods by altering peripheral sweet taste responses. Such reciprocal modulation of leptin and endocannabinoids on peripheral sweet sensitivity may play an important role in regulating energy homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-231
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Endocannabinoids
  • Energy homeostasis
  • Leptin
  • Signal transduction
  • Sweet taste
  • Taste bud cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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