Thursday, August 04, 2005

551-552: Tasting

Genetic Tracing Shows Segregation of Taste Neuronal Circuitries for Bitter and Sweet -- Sugita and Shiba 309 (5735): 781 -- Science:

The recent discovery of mammalian bitter, sweet, and umami taste receptors indicates how the different taste qualities are encoded at the periphery. However, taste representations in the brain remain elusive. We used a genetic approach to visualize the neuronal circuitries of bitter and sweet tastes in mice to gain insight into how taste recognition is accomplished in the brain. By selectively expressing a transsynaptic tracer in either bitter- or sweet and/or umami-responsive taste receptor cells, and by comparing the locations of the tracer-labeled neurons in the brain, our data revealed the potential neuronal bases that underlie discrimination of bitter versus sweet.
Combine this with the recent discovery that cats can't taste "sweet" and we have more data on the evolution of taste.