ATP signaling is crucial for communication from taste buds to gustatory nerves. Journal Article uri icon



  • Taste receptor cells detect chemicals in the oral cavity and transmit this information to taste nerves, but the neurotransmitter(s) have not been identified. We report that adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) is the key neurotransmitter in this system. Genetic elimination of ionotropic purinergic receptors (P2X2 and P2X3) eliminates taste responses in the taste nerves, although the nerves remain responsive to touch, temperature, and menthol. Similarly, P2X-knockout mice show greatly reduced behavioral responses to sweeteners, glutamate, and bitter substances. Finally, stimulation of taste buds in vitro evokes release of ATP. Thus, ATP fulfils the criteria for a neurotransmitter linking taste buds to the nervous system.

publication date

  • December 1, 2005

has subject area

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • March 13, 2015 1:42 AM

Full Author List

  • Finger TE; Danilova V; Barrows J; Bartel DL; Vigers AJ; Stone L; Hellekant G; Kinnamon SC

author count

  • 8

citation count

  • 198

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1495

end page

  • 1499


  • 310


  • 5753