Distribution of Taste Receptors in Submandibular and von Ebner Salivary Glands

  • Jun, Yong-Ku (Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, College of Dentistry, Kangnung National University) ;
  • Kim, Se-Nyun (Department of Pharmacology and Mechnism, Research Institute, Oscotec Inc.) ;
  • Lee, Cil-Han (Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, College of Dentistry, Kangnung National University) ;
  • Cho, Young-Kyung (Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, College of Dentistry, Kangnung National University) ;
  • Chung, Ki-Myung (Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, College of Dentistry, Kangnung National University) ;
  • Roper, Stephen D. (Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami) ;
  • Kim, Kyung-Nyun (Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, College of Dentistry, Kangnung National University)
  • Published : 2008.03.31


Taste is a critically important sense for the survival of an organism. However, structure and distribution of taste receptors were only recently investigated. Although expression of the ion channels responsible for the sense of salty taste and acidity was observed in the non-taste cells, receptors for sweet and bitter taste were only identified in taste cells. Salivary glands are involved in the sensing of taste and plays important roles in the transduction of taste. The purpose of this study is to examine whether taste receptors are present in the salivary glands and to provide clues for the investigation of the taste-salivary glands interaction. Using microarray and RT-PCR analyses, the presence of taste receptor mRNAs in the rat von Ebner gland and submandibular gland was confirmed. Type I taste receptors were preferentially expressed in von Ebner gland, whereas type II taste receptors were expressed in both von Ebner gland and submandibular gland. The tastespecific signal tranducing proteins, $G_{\alpha}gustducin$ and phospholipase C ${\beta}2$, were also detected in both salivary glands by immunohistochemistry. Finally, the activation of the calcium signal in response to bitter taste in the acinar cells was also observed. Taken together, these results suggest that taste receptors are present in the von Ebner gland and submandibular gland and that type II taste receptors are functionally active in both salivary glands.


  1. 김경년, 천상우: 특수감각, 전국치과대학(원)생리학 교수협의회 저 : 치의학을 위한 생리학 , pp 404-414,188-201, 대한 나래출판사, 서울 2005
  2. 김경년: Patch clamp를 위한 von Ebner 선포세포분리방법의 개발. 대한치과의사협회지, 38:378-384, 2000
  3. Adler E, Hoon MA, Mueller KL, Chandrashekar J, Ryba NJ, Zuker CS: A novel family of mammalian taste receptors. Cell 100:693-702, 2000 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0092-8674(00)80705-9
  4. Bradely RM, and Beidler LM: Saliva: its role in taste function. in Handbook of olfaction and gustation, 2nd ed. edited by Doty, RL, pp 639-650, Marcel Dekker, NewYork, 2003
  5. Bromley SM, and Doty RL: Clinical disorders affecting taste: Evaluation and management. in Handbook of olfaction and gustation, 2nd ed. edited by Doty, RL, pp 935-958, Marcel Dekker, NewYork, 2003
  6. Finger TF, Bottger B, Hansen A, Anderson KT, Alimohammadi, and Silver WL: Solitary chemoreceptor cells in the nasal cavity serve as sentinels of respiration. PNAS 100:8981-8986, 2003
  7. Gilbertson TA, Damak S, and Margolskee RF: The molecular physiology of the taste transduction. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 10: 519-527, 2000 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0959-4388(00)00118-5
  8. Gilbertson TA: Hypoosmotic stimuli activate a chrolide conductance in rat taste cells Chem Senses, 27:383-394, 2002 https://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/27.4.383
  9. Hofer D, and Drenckhahn D: Identification of the taste cell Gprotein, alpha-gustducin, in brush cells of the rat pancreatic duct system. Histochem Cell Biol. 110: 303-309, 1998
  10. Hofer D, Puschel B, and Drenckhahn D: Taste receptor-like cells in the rat gut identified by expression of alphagustducin. PNAS 93: 6631-6634, 1996
  11. Hoon MA, Adler E, Lindemeir J, Battey JF, Ryba NJ, and Zuker CS: Putative mammalian taste receptors: a class of taste-specific GPCRs with distinct topographic selectivity. Cell 96:541-551, 1999 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0092-8674(00)80658-3
  12. Huang L, Shanker YG, Dubauskaite J, Zheng JZ, Yan W, Rosenzweig S, Spielman AI, Max M, and Margolskee RF: G$\gamma$13 colocalized with gustducin in taste receptor cells and mediates IP3 responses to bitter denatonium. Nature Neurocsi 2:1055-1062, 1999 https://doi.org/10.1038/15981
  13. Li X, Staszewski L, Xu H, Durick K, Zoller M, and Adler E: Human receptors for sweet and umami taste. PNAS 99: 4692-4696, 2002.
  14. Lindemamm B: Taste reception. Physiol. Rev. 76:719-766, 1996 https://doi.org/10.1152/physrev.1996.76.3.719
  15. McLaughlin SK, McKinnon PJ, and Margolskee RF: Gustducin is a taste-cell-specific G protein closely related to the transducins. Nature. 357:563-569, 1992 https://doi.org/10.1038/357563a0
  16. Margolskee RF: The biochemistry and molecular biology of taste transduction. Curr Opin Neurobiol 3, 526, 1993a https://doi.org/10.1016/0959-4388(93)90051-Y
  17. Mtsunami H, Montmayeur JP, and Buck LB: A family of candidate taste receptors in human and mouse. Nature 404:601-604 2000 https://doi.org/10.1038/35007072
  18. Morris-Wiman J, Sego R, Brinkley L, and Dolce C: The effect of sialoadenectomy and exogenous EGF on taste bud morphology and maintenance. Chem Senses 25:9-19, 2000 https://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/25.1.9
  19. Nelson G, Hoon MA, Chandrashekar J, Zhang Y, Ryba NJ, and Zuker CS: Mammalian sweet taste receptors. Cell 106:381-390, 2001 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0092-8674(01)00451-2
  20. Perez CA, Huang L, Rong M, Kozak JA, Preuss AK, Zhang H, Max M, and Margolskee RF: A transient receptor potential channel expressed in taste receptor cells. Nat Neurosci 5:1169-1176, 2002 https://doi.org/10.1038/nn952
  21. Rossler P, Kroner C, Freitag J, Nobe J, and Breer H,: Identification of a phospholipase C beta subtype in rat taste cells. Eur J Cell Biol 77:253-261, 1998 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0171-9335(98)80114-3
  22. Ruiz-Avila L, Wong GT, Damak S, and Margolskee RF: Dominant loss of responsiveness to sweet and bitter compounds caused by a single mutation in ..-gustducin. PNAS 98: 8868-8873, 2001
  23. Sbarbati A, Merigo F, Benati D, Tizzano M, Bernardi P, and Osculati F: Laryngeal chemosensory clusters. Chem Sens. 29:683-92, 2004 https://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjh071
  24. Schmale H, Holtgreve-Grez H, and Christiansen H: Possible role for salivary gland protein in taste reception indicated by homology to lipophilic-ligand carrier proteins. Nature 343:366-369, 1990 https://doi.org/10.1038/343366a0
  25. Spielman Al: Interaction of saliva and taste. J Dent Res 69:838-843, 1990 https://doi.org/10.1177/00220345900690030101
  26. Wong,GT, Gannong KS, and Margolskee RF: Transduction of bitter and sweet taste by gustducin. Nature 381:796-800, 1996 https://doi.org/10.1038/381796a0
  27. Wu SV, Rozengurt N, Yang M, Young SH, Sinnett-Smith J, and Rozengurt E: Expression of bitter taste receptors of T2R family in the gastrointestinal tract and enterendocrine STC-1 cells. PNAS 99:2392-2397, 2002
  28. Yan W, Sunavala G, Rosenzweig S, Dasso M, Brand JG, and Spielman AI: Bitter taste transduced by PLC$\beta$2-dependent rise in IP3 and $\alpha$-gustducin -dependent fall in cyclic neucleotides. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 280:C742-C751, 2001 https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpcell.2001.280.4.C742
  29. Zhang Y, Hoon MA, Chandrashekar J, Mueller KL, Cook B, Wu D, Zuker CS, and Ryba NJ: Coding od sweet, bitter, and umami tastes: different receptor cells sharing similar signaling pathways. Cell 112:293-301, 2003 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0092-8674(03)00071-0