The taste of sugar elicits cephalic-phase insulin release (CPIR), which limits the rise in blood glucose associated with meals. Little is known, however, about the orosensory mechanisms that trigger CPIR. We asked whether oral stimulation with any of the following taste stimuli elicited CPIR in mice: glucose, sucrose, maltose, fructose, Polycose, saccharin, sucralose, AceK, SC45647 or a non-metabolizable sugar analog. The only taste stimuli that elicited CPIR were glucose and the glucose-containing saccharides (sucrose, maltose, Polycose). When we mixed an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor (acarbose) with the latter three saccharides, the mice no longer exhibited CPIR. This revealed that the carbohydrates were hydrolyzed in the mouth, and that the liberated glucose triggered CPIR. We also found that increasing the intensity or duration of oral glucose stimulation caused a corresponding increase in CPIR magnitude. To identify the components of the glucose-specific taste-signaling pathway, we examined the necessity of Calhm1, P2X2+P2X3, SGLT1 and Sur1. Among these proteins, only Sur1 was necessary for CPIR. Sur1 was not necessary, however, for taste-mediated attraction to sugars. Given that Sur1 is a subunit of the KATP channel, and that this channel functions as a part of a glucose-sensing pathway in pancreatic beta cells, we asked whether the KATP channel serves an analogous role in taste cells. We discovered that oral stimulation with drugs known to increase (glyburide) or decrease (diazoxide) KATP signaling produced corresponding changes in glucose-stimulated CPIR. We propose that the KATP channel is part of a novel signaling pathway in taste cells that mediates glucose-induced CPIR.
- artificial sweetener
- cephalic-phase insulin release
- Copyright © 2017, American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology