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Free Content Review of the Current Embryology and Anatomy of Taste and an Overview of Central Processing

Taste is a sense interrelated with olfaction. Together, taste and olfaction produce the sensation designated as flavor, which influences dietary intake. This review discussed the embryology and anatomy of taste, and then their central processing in the brain. It also addresses diseases that may alter taste perception.

Learning Objective: Reading this review will help the reader to understand the embryology and anatomy of the taste system. It explains how taste is sensed, how that sensation is perceived by the brain, and how that perception regulates ingestion, satiety, and obesity. The reader will also learn how different diseases affect the appearance of the tongue and the sense of taste.

Keywords: ATP = adenosine triphosphate; BDNF = brain-derived neurotrophic factor; BMP 2, 4, 7 = bone morphogenic proteins; CALHM1 = calcium homeostasis modulator-1 protein (a preforming subunit of a voltage-gated ion channel); CCK = the peptide hormone cholecystokinin; CN = cranial nerve; CS = central sulcus; EGF = epidermal growth factor; EGFR = epidermal growth factor receptor; ENaC = A salt receptor epithelial sodium channel; FGF = fibroblastic growth factor; GABA = gamma aminobutyric acid (it acts at inhibitory synapses in the brain by binding to specific transmembrane receptors); GLP-1 = the peptide hormone glucagon-like peptide-1; GLUT-2 = a glucose transporter; GPCR = G-protein-coupled receptor; HES1 = hairy and enhancer of split-1 is a transcription factor and a member of the Hes gene family (Hes genes code nuclear proteins that suppress transcription); K5, K14 = keratins a family of structural proteins; MASH1 = a transcription factor originally known as mammalian achaete scute homolog-1; MSG = monosodium glutamate; NT-3 = neurotropoin 3 (a neurotrophic factor); OFC = orbitofrontal cortex; P2X, P2Y = a family of purinergic G-protein-coupled receptors that are stimulated by nucleotides; PKD1L3-PKD2L1 = a sour taste receptor; Px1 = pannexin 1; ROMK = renal outer medullary K+ channel; SGLT1 = a glucose transporter; SHH = sonic hedgehog protein; SIADH = syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion; SNAP-25 = synaptosome associated protein 25 (presynaptic protein) is a protein coding gene; SOX2 = a family of transcription factors that bind to DNA (they are neural-inducing homeobox genes); SPRY1‐4 (Spry 1‐4) = the sprouty family of genes inhibit tyrosine kinase activity (they are antagonists of FGF signaling); T1R, T2R = TAS1R1, TAS1R2; VPMpc = medial parvicellular portion of the ventromedial nucleus; VR-1v = vanilloid receptor that functions as a nonselective cation channel; WNT = gene family consists of at least 19 genes that make ligands that are signaling molecules that play many roles of embryogenesis; WNT/β-catenin pathway = regulates stem cell pluripotency and cell fate decisions during development; cAMP = cyclic adenosine monophosphate; tyrosine kinases = enzymes that can transfer a phosphate group from ATP to a protein in a cell

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2019

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