Sodium-glucose cotransporter 1 as a sugar taste sensor in mouse tongue

Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2020 Dec;230(4):e13529. doi: 10.1111/apha.13529. Epub 2020 Jul 22.


Aim: We investigated potential neuron types that code sugar information and how sodium-glucose cotransporters (SGLTs) and T1Rs are involved.

Methods: Whole-nerve recordings in the chorda tympani (CT) and the glossopharyngeal (GL) nerves and single-fibre recordings in the CT were performed in T1R3-KO and wild-type (WT) mice. Behavioural response measurements were conducted in T1R3-KO mice using phlorizin (Phl), a competitive inhibitor of SGLTs.

Results: Results indicated that significant enhancement occurred in responses to sucrose and glucose (Glc) by adding 10 mmol/L NaCl but not in responses to KCl, monopotassium glutamate, citric acid, quinine sulphate, SC45647(SC) or polycose in both CT and GL nerves. These enhancements were abolished by lingual application of Phl. In single-fibre recording, fibres showing maximal response to sucrose could be classified according to responses to SC and Glc with or without 10 mmol/L NaCl in the CT of WT mice, namely, Phl-insensitive type, Phl-sensitive Glc-type and Mixed (Glc and SC responding)-type fibres. In T1R3-KO mice, Phl-insensitive-type fibres disappeared. Results from behavioural experiments showed that the number of licks and amount of intake for Glc with or without 10 mmol/L NaCl were significantly suppressed by Phl.

Conclusion: We found evidence for the contribution of SGLTs in sugar sensing in taste cells of mouse tongue. Moreover, we found T1R-dependent (Phl-insensitive) type, Glc-type and Mixed (SGLTs and T1Rs)-type fibres. SGLT1 may be involved in the latter two types and may play important roles in the glucose-specific cephalic phase of digestion and palatable food intake.

Keywords: SGLTs; T1Rs; glucose; sugar; sweet taste; taste.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 1
  • Sugars*
  • Taste*
  • Tongue


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 1
  • Sugars