Glucagon-like peptide-1 is specifically involved in sweet taste transmission

Shingo Takai, Keiko Yasumatsu, Mayuko Inoue, Shusuke Iwata, Ryusuke Yoshida, Noriatsu Shigemura, Yuchio Yanagawa, Daniel J. Drucker, Robert F. Margolskee, Yuzo Ninomiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Five fundamental taste qualities (sweet, bitter, salty, sour, umami) are sensed by dedicated taste cells (TCs) that relay quality information to gustatory nerve fibers. In peripheral taste signaling pathways, ATP has been identified as a functional neurotransmitter, but it remains to be determined how specificity of different taste qualities is maintained across synapses. Recent studies demonstrated that some gut peptides are released from taste buds by prolonged application of particular taste stimuli, suggesting their potential involvement in taste information coding. In this study, we focused on the function of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in initial responses to taste stimulation. GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) null mice had reduced neural and behavioral responses specifically to sweet compounds compared to wild-type (WT) mice. Some sweet responsive TCs expressed GLP-1 and its receptors were expressed in gustatory neurons. GLP-1 was released immediately from taste bud cells in response to sweet compounds but not to other taste stimuli. Intravenous administration of GLP-1 elicited transient responses in a subset of sweet-sensitive gustatory nerve fibers but did not affect other types of fibers, and this response was suppressed by pre-administration of the GLP-1R antagonist Exendin-4(3-39). Thus GLP-1 may be involved in normal sweet taste signal transmission in mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2268-2280
Number of pages13
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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