What is it about?

Taste receptor cells are used to detect potential food items to consume as well as harmful compounds to avoid. Many taste cells are selective and only detect to a specific taste stimulus. We have identified a new population of taste cells that detect multiple types of stimuli.

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Why is it important?

These taste cells are broadly responsive and can detect bitter, sweet, sour and umami taste stimuli. When these cells are not functional, the ability to detect these stimuli is severely reduced which prevents the brain from making appropriate decisions about consuming or rejecting potential food items. The identification of this taste cell population allows us to better understand how taste stimulus signals are sent to the brain for processing.


I think the identification of this taste cell population provides a new perspective in our understanding of how taste information is sent to the brain. It's important we understand how taste cells function because the messages the brain receives about potential food items is critical for consumption. When the brain does not receive the correct information, there are negative effects on how we eat which has significant consequences to our health.

Kathryn Medler
University at Buffalo - The State University of New York

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A subset of broadly responsive Type III taste cells contribute to the detection of bitter, sweet and umami stimuli, PLoS Genetics, August 2020, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008925.
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