2016 Volume 39 Issue 1 Pages 33-41
Recently the global expression of taste 2 receptors (TAS2Rs) on smooth muscle cells in human airways was demonstrated. Here, the effects of agonists of taste receptor, type 2, denatonium and 6-n-propyl-2-thiouracil, on smooth-muscle contraction were examined in the rat and mouse. Contractions induced by carbachol (CCh), high K+, and sodium fluoride, but not calyculin-A, were inhibited significantly in the presence of a TAS2R agonist in the bronchial smooth muscle of mice. The contraction induced by CCh was inhibited by TAS2R agonists in ileal smooth muscle. Phenylephrine-induced contraction was also inhibited by TAS2R agonists in aortic smooth muscle. Gastrointestinal motility and blood pressure were attenuated by administration of TAS2R agonists in vivo. These findings suggest that TAS2R may be receptor for endogenous biologically active substances as well as for bitter tastes on the tongue. TAS2R signaling could be employed in the development of anti-asthmatic, anti-spasmodic, and anti-hypertensive drugs.