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Angiotensin II Modulates Salty and Sweet Taste Sensitivities

J. Neurosci., 10 April 2013
Vol. 33, Issue 15, p. 6267-6277
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5599-12.2013

Angiotensin II Modulates Salty and Sweet Taste Sensitivities

  1. Noriatsu Shigemura1,
  2. Shusuke Iwata1,
  3. Keiko Yasumatsu1,
  4. Tadahiro Ohkuri1,
  5. Nao Horio1,
  6. Keisuke Sanematsu1,
  7. Ryusuke Yoshida1,
  8. Robert F. Margolskee2, and
  9. Yuzo Ninomiya1
  1. 1Section of Oral Neuroscience, Graduate School of Dental Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan and
  2. 2Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-3308
  1. Author contributions: N.S. and Y.N. designed research; N.S., S.I., K.Y., T.O., N.H., K.S., and R.Y. performed research; R.F.M. contributed unpublished reagents/analytic tools; N.S., S.I., K.Y., T.O., N.H., and Y.N. analyzed data; N.S., R.F.M., and Y.N. wrote the paper.


Understanding the mechanisms underlying gustatory detection of dietary sodium is important for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Here, we show that Angiotensin II (AngII), a major mediator of body fluid and sodium homeostasis, modulates salty and sweet taste sensitivities, and that this modulation critically influences ingestive behaviors in mice. Gustatory nerve recording demonstrated that AngII suppressed amiloride-sensitive taste responses to NaCl. Surprisingly, AngII also enhanced nerve responses to sweeteners, but had no effect on responses to KCl, sour, bitter, or umami tastants. These effects of AngII on nerve responses were blocked by the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1) antagonist CV11974. In behavioral tests, CV11974 treatment reduced the stimulated high licking rate to NaCl and sweeteners in water-restricted mice with elevated plasma AngII levels. In taste cells AT1 proteins were coexpressed with αENaC (epithelial sodium channel α-subunit, an amiloride-sensitive salt taste receptor) or T1r3 (a sweet taste receptor component). These results suggest that the taste organ is a peripheral target of AngII. The specific reduction of amiloride-sensitive salt taste sensitivity by AngII may contribute to increased sodium intake. Furthermore, AngII may contribute to increased energy intake by enhancing sweet responses. The linkage between salty and sweet preferences via AngII signaling may optimize sodium and calorie intakes.

  • Received December 7, 2012.
  • Revision received February 4, 2013.
  • Accepted February 21, 2013.


N. Shigemura, S. Iwata, K. Yasumatsu, T. Ohkuri, N. Horio, K. Sanematsu, R. Yoshida, R. F. Margolskee, and Y. Ninomiya, Angiotensin II Modulates Salty and Sweet Taste Sensitivities. J. Neurosci. 33, 6267-6277 (2013).

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