T1R3 is expressed in brush cells and ghrelin-producing cells of murine stomach

Cell Tissue Res. 2010 Mar;339(3):493-504. doi: 10.1007/s00441-009-0907-6.


Various digestive and enteroendocrine signaling processes are constantly being adapted to the chemical composition and quantity of the chyme contained in the diverse compartments of the gastrointestinal tract. The chemosensory monitoring that underlies the adaptive capacity of the gut is thought to be performed by so called brush cells that share morphological and molecular features with gustatory sensory cells. A substantial population of brush cells is localized in the gastric mucosa. However, no chemosensory receptors have been found to be expressed in these cells so far, challenging the concept that they serve a chemosensory function. The canonical chemoreceptors for the detection of macronutrients are taste receptors belonging to the T1R family; these have been identified in several tissues in addition to the gustatory system including the small intestine. We demonstrate the expression of the T1R subtype T1R3, which is essential for the detection of both sugars and amino acids in the gustatory system, in two distinct cell populations of the gastric mucosa. One population corresponds to open-type brush cells, emphasizing the notion that they are a chemosensory cell type; T1R3 immunoreactivity in these cells is restricted to the apical cell pole, which might provide the basis for the detection of luminal macronutrient compounds. The second gastric T1R3-positive population consists of closed-type endocrine cells that produce ghrelin. This finding suggests that ghrelin-releasing cells, which lack access to the stomach lumen, might receive chemosensory input from macronutrients in the circulation via T1R3.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / cytology
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Ghrelin / biosynthesis*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Protein Transport
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stomach / cytology*


  • Ghrelin
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • taste receptors, type 1