Modulation of taste sensitivity by GLP-1 signaling in taste buds

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Jul:1170:98-101. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.03920.x.


Modulation of sensory function can help animals adjust to a changing external and internal environment. Even so, mechanisms for modulating taste sensitivity are poorly understood. Using immunohistochemical, biochemical, and behavioral approaches, we found that the peptide hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and its receptor (GLP-1R) are expressed in mammalian taste buds. Furthermore, we found that GLP-1 signaling plays an important role in the modulation of taste sensitivity: GLP-1R knockout mice exhibit a dramatic reduction in sweet taste sensitivity as well as an enhanced sensitivity to umami-tasting stimuli. Together, these findings suggest a novel paracrine mechanism for the hormonal modulation of taste function in mammals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / metabolism*
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Receptors, Glucagon / genetics
  • Receptors, Glucagon / metabolism
  • Receptors, Glucagon / physiology
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Taste Buds / metabolism*
  • Taste*


  • Glp1r protein, mouse
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor
  • Receptors, Glucagon
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1