Neuroscience: ATP signalling is crucial for communication from taste buds to gustatory nerves

Thomas E. Finger, Vicktoria Danilova, Jennell Barrows, Dianna L. Bartel, Alison J. Vigers, Leslie Stone, Goran Hellekant, Sue C. Kinnamon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

507 Scopus citations

Abstract

Taste receptor cells detect chemicals in the oral cavity and transmit this information to taste nerves, but the neurotransmitter(s) have not been identified. We report that adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) is the key neurotransmitter in this system. Genetic elimination of ionotropic purinergic receptors (P2X2 and P2X3) eliminates taste responses in the taste nerves, although the nerves remain responsive to touch, temperature, and menthol Similarly, P2X-knockout mice show greatly reduced behavioral responses to sweeteners, glutamate, and bitter substances. Finally, stimulation of taste buds in vitro evokes release of ATP. Thus, ATP fulfils the criteria for a neurotransmitter linking taste buds to the nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1495-1499
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume310
Issue number5753
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2 2005

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