Taste responses to sweet stimuli in α-Gustducin knockout and wild-type mice

Vicktoria Danilova, Sami Damak, Robert F. Margolskee, Göran Hellekant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The importance of α-gustducin in sweet taste transduction is based on data obtained with sucrose and the artificial sweetener SC45647. Here we studied the role of α-gustducin in sweet taste. We compared the behavioral and electrophysiological responses of α-gustducin knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice to 11 different sweeteners, representing carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, and sweet amino acids. In behavioral experiments, over 48-h preference ratios were measured in two-bottle preference tests. In electrophysiological experiments, integrated responses of chorda tympani (CT) and glossopharyngeal (NG) nerves were recorded. We found that preference ratios of the KO mice were significantly lower than those of WT for acesulfame-K, dulcin, fructose, NC00174, D -phenylalanine, L-proline, D -tryptophan, saccharin, SC45647, sucrose, but not neotame. The nerve responses to all sweeteners, except neotame, were smaller in the KO mice than in the WT mice. The differences between the responses in WT and KO mice were more pronounced in the CT than in the NG. These data indicate that α-gustducin participates in the transduction of the sweet taste in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-580
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Senses
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Chorda tympani
  • Glossopharyngeal
  • Knockout mice
  • Sweet taste
  • Two-bottle preference
  • α-gustducin


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