RESEARCH PAPER
Lower expressions of the human bitter taste receptor TAS2R in smokers: reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis
 
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1
Department of food and nutrition, Sanyo Gakuen College, Naka-ward, Japan
2
Department of nutrition and health promotion, Showa Women’s University, Tokyo, Japan
3
School of Medicine, Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan
4
Department of Dentistry and Oral Surgery, Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan
5
Department of Medicine, Kochi University, Kochi, Japan
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Mieko Aoki   

Department of food and nutrition, Sanyo Gakuen College, 1-14-1 Hirai, Naka-ward, Okayama 703-8501, Japan
Publication date: 2014-08-15
 
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2014;12(August):12
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Background:
Despite the fact that smokers have deficit in detecting taste, particularly bitter taste, no study has investigated its biological correlate.

Methods:
In this context, we compared the expression of the bitter taste receptor gene, taste 2 receptor (TAS2R) in the tongues of smokers and non-smokers. Tissue samples were collected from the lateral portion of the tongues of 22 smokers and 22 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers (19 males and three females) with no history of smoking. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction was used to examine the expression of TAS2R in the two groups, and the effect of aging on TAS2R expression was also assessed.

Results:
TAS2R expression was significantly lower among smokers than non-smokers (t = 6.525, P < .0001, 11.36 ± 6.0 vs. 2.09 ± 2.8, mean ± SD, non-smokers vs. smokers). Further, a positive correlation between age and expression of TAS2R was observed in non-smokers (r = .642, P = .001), but not smokers (r = .124, P = .584). This correlation difference was significant (Z = 1.96, P = .0496).

Conclusions:
Smokers showed a significantly lower expression of the bitter taste receptor gene than non-smokers, which is potentially caused by their inability to acquire such receptors with age because of cigarette smoking, in contrast to non-smokers.

 
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