The capsaicin receptor participates in artificial sweetener aversion

Journal Article

Artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame-K, and cyclamate produce at high concentrations an unpleasant after-taste that is generally attributed to bitter and metallic taste sensations. To identify receptors involved with the complex perception of the above compounds, preference tests were performed in wild-type mice and mice lacking the TRPV1 channel or the T1R3 receptor, the latter being necessary for the perception of sweet taste. The sweeteners, including cyclamate, displayed a biphasic response profile, with the T1R3 mediated component implicated in preference. At high concentrations imparting off-taste, omission of TRPV1 reduced aversion. In a heterologous expression system the Y511A point mutation in the vanilloid pocket of TRPV1 did not affect saccharin and aspartame responses but abolished cyclamate and acesulfame-K activities. The results rationalize artificial sweetener tastes and off-tastes by showing that at low concentrations, these molecules stimulate the gustatory system through the hedonically positive T1R3 pathway, and at higher concentrations, their aversion is partly mediated by TRPV1. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Riera, CE; Vogel, H; Simon, SA; Damak, S; Coutre, JL

Published Date

  • 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 376 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 653 - 657

PubMed ID

  • 18804451

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-291X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.09.029