Decreased expression of CD36 in circumvallate taste buds of high-fat diet induced obese rats

Acta Histochem. 2011 Oct;113(6):663-7. doi: 10.1016/j.acthis.2010.09.007. Epub 2010 Oct 5.


Mammals spontaneously prefer lipid rich foods. Overconsumption of high-fat diet leads to obesity and related diseases. Recent findings indicate that taste may participate in the orosensory perception of dietary lipids and the fatty taste may contribute to a preference for and excessive consumption of dietary fat. CD36, a trans-membrane glycoprotein, which is located in the taste buds of circumvallate papillae of rodents, appears to be a plausible receptor for this fatty taste. Obese subjects present a stronger preference for fatty foods, though the mechanisms involved are complex and are not fully investigated. Our data from immunofluorescence and real-time RT-PCR showed that the expression levels of CD36 in circumvallate taste buds were significantly lower in high-fat diet induced obese rats as compared with that of control rats fed a normal diet. These results suggest that decreased expression of CD36 in circumvallate taste buds of high-fat diet induced obese rats may be associated with diminished fatty taste sensitivity and in order to compensate the preference for dietary fat, rats consume more fatty foods. Therapeutic strategies designed to alter or manipulate CD36 expression or function in taste buds may have important implications in treating obesity and related diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD36 Antigens / analysis*
  • CD36 Antigens / genetics*
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Male
  • Obesity / chemically induced*
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Taste Buds / metabolism*
  • Taste Buds / physiopathology


  • CD36 Antigens
  • Dietary Fats
  • RNA, Messenger