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Sense of Taste
Dr Faiza
Assistant Professor of Physiology
MBBS (Best Graduate, AIMC Lahore)
FCPS Physiology,
ICMT, CHPE, DHPE (STMU)
MPH (GC University, Faisalabad)
MBA (Virtual University of Pakistan)
Learning Objectives:
• Describe the structure and function of taste buds.
• Describe the relation between the taste threshold and taste index
of common substances.
• Describe the chemical basis and signal transduction of taste
perception of each type of primary taste sensation.
• Recognize different abnormalities of taste perception with their
causes.
What is the significance of Taste Sensation?
• Differentiate between pleasant and harmful food
• Behavioral influences
• Selection of food based on metabolic needs
What do you think is the receptor of taste?
• Taste Buds on the tongue
But Taste perception is influenced by
• Sense of smell
• Texture of food
• Stimulation of pain by pepper
Primary and Secondary Taste Sensations
• Primary taste sensations
• Sweet
• Sour
• Salty
• Bitter
• Umami
Primary
Taste
Sensations
Sweet
Variety of
chemicals
Mostly
organic
sugars, glycols, alcohols,
aldehydes, ketones, amides,
esters, some amino acids,
some small proteins,
sulfonic acids, halogenated
acids, and inorganic salts of
lead and beryllium
Salty
Ionized salts
Majorly
cations
Mainly
Sodium
Sour
By acids
Intensity ∝
Hydrogen
ions conc
Bitter
Organic
substances
Long chain
organic
carrying
Nitrogen
Alkaloids
Drugs
quinine,
caffeine,
strychnine,
nicotine
Toxins in
poisonous
plants
Umami
Pleasant
sensation
Different
from other
primary
tastes
Foods
containing L-
Glutamate
Meat
extracts,
ageing
cheese
Nutritional
value by
promoting
protein
ingestion
Salty taste varies
based on type of salt
Japanese word
means delicious
Saccharin initially tastes sweet but have a
bitter aftertaste. Why?
Alteration of a single radical may alter sweet to bitter
Taste
Threshold
Sweet sucrose 0.01M
Salty NaCl 0.01 M
Sour HCl 0.0009 M
Bitter Quinine 0.000008 M
Taste index 1
Taste index ∝ 1/ Taste threshold
Taste Blindness
• Taste blind for certain substances
• Especially for different types of thiourea compounds
• Substance used frequently by psychologists
• phenylthiocarbamide
• 15% to 30% of all people exhibit taste blindness
Taste Bud
• Epithelial Cells
• Sustentacular/Supporting
cells
• Taste Cells (100/taste bud)
• Basal Cells
• Mitosis
• Mature towards the centre
• Average life span 10 days
Taste Bud
• Taste Pore
• Taste Hairs/Microvilli
• Receptor for taste
• Taste nerve fibers
• 50 fibers/ taste bud
• 5 taste buds/fiber
• Intracellular vesicles
• Neurotransmitters
Location of Taste Buds
• Papillae of tongue
• Palate
• Tonsillar Pillars
• Epiglottis
• Proximal oesophagus
Location of Taste Buds
• Fungiform papillae
• near the tip of the tongue
• 5 taste buds/papillae
• On the top
• Circumvallate papillae
• Arranged in a V on the back of the
tongue
• Up to 100 taste buds
• Located along the sides of the papillae.
• Foliate papillae
• Posterior edge of tongue
• Up to 100 taste buds
• Located along the sides of the papillae.
Do you know how many taste buds you have?
3000-10000 in adults
Taste sensitivity decreases in old age. Why?
Decreased number of taste buds and papillae
Taste
Bud
Structure
Epithelial
cells
Basal, Sustentacular,
Taste cells
Taste Pores Taste Hairs/Microvilli Taste Receptors
Taste Nerve
Nerve VII,
IX, X
Location
Papillae
Circumvallate,
Fungiform, Foliate
Less
abundant
Palate, epiglottis,
tonsillar pillars,
proximal esophagus
Specificity
For one primary
sensation at low conc
Two or more primary
sensations at high conc
Mechanism
of
Stimulation
Taste
substance
Receptors
on
Microvilli
Umami L-Glutamate
T1R1, T1R3,
mGluR4
Sweet
Variety of organic
chemicals
T1R2, T1R3
Second messenger
system
Bitter
Alkaloids/Nitrogenou
s organic compounds
T2R
Sour By acids (H+)
Acid sensitive potassium channel
hydrogen ion–selective ion channel
Hyperpolariation activated cyclic
neucleotide gated ion channel (HCN)
Salty Ionized salts (Na+) ENaC Cationic influx
Metabotropic
G-protein coupled
receptors
Ionotropic
recptors
A B C D E
Lingual branch
1st order
2nd order
3rd order
Circumvallate
papillae, posterior
of mouth and throat
Base of tounge
Transmission to superior
and inferior olivary nuclei
Ipsilateral
innervation
Tongue Papillae Taste bud Taste cell
Microvilli Receptor
Taste
substance
Channel opening/2nd
messenger system
End Plate
potential
Na/H influx Depolarization
Neurotransmit
ter release
Conduction
through nerve
fiber
CN VII/IX
Nucleus
of tractus
solitarius
Ventral posterior
medial nucleus
of thalamus
Gustatory
cortex(anterior
insula-frontal
operculum)
1st order neuron 2nd order neuron 3rd order neuron
Taste sensation adapts rapidly. How?
Less than half at the receptor level
Mostly in the neural pathways
What is the role of saliva in taste?
Dissolution of tastant to reach the receptor
Washing away the stimulus
What is meant by the following?
Taste preference
Taste Aversion
How do these happen? Receptor or neural?
What happens to taste buds if sensory nerve
fiber is cut?
Degeneration
Why spices should not be used to check taste
sensation?
Spice,
Capascin
TRPV1 rec
Pain
transmission
Trigeminal
nerve
What is gustducin? Significance?
Self study
Abnormalities of Taste Detection
• Ageusia
absence of the sense of taste
• Hypogeusia
• diminished taste sensitivity
• Dysgeusia or parageusia:
• Unpleasant perception of taste
• Causes a metallic, salty, foul, or rancid taste.
What causes abnormalities of Taste
Detection?
• Damage to the lingual or glossopharyngeal nerve
• Neurological disorders
• Vestibular schwannoma
• Bell palsy
• familial dysautonomia
• multiple sclerosis
• Infections (eg, primary ameboid meningoencephalopathy)
• Poor oral hygiene
• Adverse side effect of various drugs
• cisplatin and captopril)
• Vitamin B3 or zinc deficiencies
• Aging
• Tobacco abuse
• Altered neurotransmitters like serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (NE)
How neurotransmitters affect taste
threshold?
5-HT reuptake inhibitor: reduces sensitivity to sucrose
(sweet taste) and quinine (bitter taste)
NE reuptake inhibitor: reduces bitter taste and sour
thresholds.
Do you have a supertaster among your class?
• About 25% of the population
• A heightened sensitivity to taste, in particular to bitterness.
• Presence of an increased number of fungiform papillae on
their tongue.
Thank You

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Physiology of Special Chemical Sensation of Taste

  • 1. Sense of Taste Dr Faiza Assistant Professor of Physiology MBBS (Best Graduate, AIMC Lahore) FCPS Physiology, ICMT, CHPE, DHPE (STMU) MPH (GC University, Faisalabad) MBA (Virtual University of Pakistan)
  • 2. Learning Objectives: • Describe the structure and function of taste buds. • Describe the relation between the taste threshold and taste index of common substances. • Describe the chemical basis and signal transduction of taste perception of each type of primary taste sensation. • Recognize different abnormalities of taste perception with their causes.
  • 3. What is the significance of Taste Sensation? • Differentiate between pleasant and harmful food • Behavioral influences • Selection of food based on metabolic needs
  • 4. What do you think is the receptor of taste? • Taste Buds on the tongue But Taste perception is influenced by • Sense of smell • Texture of food • Stimulation of pain by pepper
  • 5. Primary and Secondary Taste Sensations • Primary taste sensations • Sweet • Sour • Salty • Bitter • Umami
  • 6. Primary Taste Sensations Sweet Variety of chemicals Mostly organic sugars, glycols, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, amides, esters, some amino acids, some small proteins, sulfonic acids, halogenated acids, and inorganic salts of lead and beryllium Salty Ionized salts Majorly cations Mainly Sodium Sour By acids Intensity ∝ Hydrogen ions conc Bitter Organic substances Long chain organic carrying Nitrogen Alkaloids Drugs quinine, caffeine, strychnine, nicotine Toxins in poisonous plants Umami Pleasant sensation Different from other primary tastes Foods containing L- Glutamate Meat extracts, ageing cheese Nutritional value by promoting protein ingestion Salty taste varies based on type of salt Japanese word means delicious
  • 7. Saccharin initially tastes sweet but have a bitter aftertaste. Why? Alteration of a single radical may alter sweet to bitter
  • 8.
  • 9. Taste Threshold Sweet sucrose 0.01M Salty NaCl 0.01 M Sour HCl 0.0009 M Bitter Quinine 0.000008 M Taste index 1 Taste index ∝ 1/ Taste threshold
  • 10.
  • 11. Taste Blindness • Taste blind for certain substances • Especially for different types of thiourea compounds • Substance used frequently by psychologists • phenylthiocarbamide • 15% to 30% of all people exhibit taste blindness
  • 12. Taste Bud • Epithelial Cells • Sustentacular/Supporting cells • Taste Cells (100/taste bud) • Basal Cells • Mitosis • Mature towards the centre • Average life span 10 days
  • 13. Taste Bud • Taste Pore • Taste Hairs/Microvilli • Receptor for taste • Taste nerve fibers • 50 fibers/ taste bud • 5 taste buds/fiber • Intracellular vesicles • Neurotransmitters
  • 14. Location of Taste Buds • Papillae of tongue • Palate • Tonsillar Pillars • Epiglottis • Proximal oesophagus
  • 15. Location of Taste Buds • Fungiform papillae • near the tip of the tongue • 5 taste buds/papillae • On the top • Circumvallate papillae • Arranged in a V on the back of the tongue • Up to 100 taste buds • Located along the sides of the papillae. • Foliate papillae • Posterior edge of tongue • Up to 100 taste buds • Located along the sides of the papillae.
  • 16. Do you know how many taste buds you have? 3000-10000 in adults
  • 17. Taste sensitivity decreases in old age. Why? Decreased number of taste buds and papillae
  • 18. Taste Bud Structure Epithelial cells Basal, Sustentacular, Taste cells Taste Pores Taste Hairs/Microvilli Taste Receptors Taste Nerve Nerve VII, IX, X Location Papillae Circumvallate, Fungiform, Foliate Less abundant Palate, epiglottis, tonsillar pillars, proximal esophagus Specificity For one primary sensation at low conc Two or more primary sensations at high conc
  • 19. Mechanism of Stimulation Taste substance Receptors on Microvilli Umami L-Glutamate T1R1, T1R3, mGluR4 Sweet Variety of organic chemicals T1R2, T1R3 Second messenger system Bitter Alkaloids/Nitrogenou s organic compounds T2R Sour By acids (H+) Acid sensitive potassium channel hydrogen ion–selective ion channel Hyperpolariation activated cyclic neucleotide gated ion channel (HCN) Salty Ionized salts (Na+) ENaC Cationic influx Metabotropic G-protein coupled receptors Ionotropic recptors
  • 20. A B C D E
  • 21. Lingual branch 1st order 2nd order 3rd order Circumvallate papillae, posterior of mouth and throat Base of tounge Transmission to superior and inferior olivary nuclei Ipsilateral innervation
  • 22. Tongue Papillae Taste bud Taste cell Microvilli Receptor Taste substance Channel opening/2nd messenger system End Plate potential Na/H influx Depolarization Neurotransmit ter release Conduction through nerve fiber CN VII/IX Nucleus of tractus solitarius Ventral posterior medial nucleus of thalamus Gustatory cortex(anterior insula-frontal operculum) 1st order neuron 2nd order neuron 3rd order neuron
  • 23. Taste sensation adapts rapidly. How? Less than half at the receptor level Mostly in the neural pathways
  • 24. What is the role of saliva in taste? Dissolution of tastant to reach the receptor Washing away the stimulus
  • 25. What is meant by the following? Taste preference Taste Aversion How do these happen? Receptor or neural?
  • 26. What happens to taste buds if sensory nerve fiber is cut? Degeneration
  • 27. Why spices should not be used to check taste sensation? Spice, Capascin TRPV1 rec Pain transmission Trigeminal nerve
  • 28. What is gustducin? Significance? Self study
  • 29. Abnormalities of Taste Detection • Ageusia absence of the sense of taste • Hypogeusia • diminished taste sensitivity • Dysgeusia or parageusia: • Unpleasant perception of taste • Causes a metallic, salty, foul, or rancid taste.
  • 30. What causes abnormalities of Taste Detection? • Damage to the lingual or glossopharyngeal nerve • Neurological disorders • Vestibular schwannoma • Bell palsy • familial dysautonomia • multiple sclerosis • Infections (eg, primary ameboid meningoencephalopathy) • Poor oral hygiene • Adverse side effect of various drugs • cisplatin and captopril) • Vitamin B3 or zinc deficiencies • Aging • Tobacco abuse • Altered neurotransmitters like serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (NE)
  • 31. How neurotransmitters affect taste threshold? 5-HT reuptake inhibitor: reduces sensitivity to sucrose (sweet taste) and quinine (bitter taste) NE reuptake inhibitor: reduces bitter taste and sour thresholds.
  • 32. Do you have a supertaster among your class? • About 25% of the population • A heightened sensitivity to taste, in particular to bitterness. • Presence of an increased number of fungiform papillae on their tongue.