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Wednesday 01 June 2005

Ethanol modulates the VR-1 variant amiloride-insensitive salt taste receptor. I. Effect on TRC volume and Na+ flux.

By: Lyall V, Heck GL, Phan TH, Mummalaneni S, Malik SA, Vinnikova AK, DeSimone JA.

J Gen Physiol 2005 Jun;125(6):569-85

The effect of ethanol on the amiloride- and benzamil (Bz)-insensitive salt taste receptor was investigated by the measurement of intracellular Na(+) activity ([Na(+)](i)) in polarized rat fungiform taste receptor cells (TRCs) using fluorescence imaging and by chorda tympani (CT) taste nerve recordings. CT responses were monitored during lingual stimulation with ethanol solutions containing NaCl or KCl. CT responses were recorded in the presence of Bz (a specific blocker of the epithelial Na(+) channel [ENaC]) or the vanilloid receptor-1 (VR-1) antagonists capsazepine or SB-366791, which also block the Bz-insensitive salt taste receptor, a VR-1 variant. CT responses were recorded at 23 degrees C or 42 degrees C (a temperature at which the VR-1 variant salt taste receptor activity is maximally enhanced). In the absence of permeable cations, ethanol induced a transient decrease in TRC volume, and stimulating the tongue with ethanol solutions without added salt elicited only transient phasic CT responses that were insensitive to elevated temperature or SB-366791. Preshrinking TRCs in vivo with hypertonic mannitol (0.5 M) attenuated the magnitude of the phasic CT response, indicating that in the absence of mineral salts, transient phasic CT responses are related to the ethanol-induced osmotic shrinkage of TRCs. In the presence of mineral salts, ethanol increased the Bz-insensitive apical cation flux in TRCs without a change in cell volume, increased transepithelial electrical resistance across the tongue, and elicited CT responses that were similar to salt responses, consisting of both a transient phasic component and a sustained tonic component. Ethanol increased the Bz-insensitive NaCl CT response. This effect was further enhanced by elevating the temperature from 23 degrees C to 42 degrees C, and was blocked by SB-366791. We conclude that in the presence of mineral salts, ethanol modulates the Bz-insensitive VR-1 variant salt taste receptor.

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