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NIDCD research at AChemS Annual Meeting
Date:4/6/2011

What: Scientists supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one of the National Institutes of Health, will be presenting their latest research findings at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS).

When: April 13-17, 2011

Where: Tradewinds Grand Isle Resort, St. Petersburg, Florida

Additional Information: Research topics to be presented by NIDCD-funded scientists will include:

New Findings Suggest Novel Avenues to Explore Taste Loss in Autoimmune Diseases

Reduced taste sensitivity is a common symptom of autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren's syndrome and lupus, and it can have a negative impact on a person's nutrition. Taste sensitivity waxes and wanes along with other disease symptoms, but the mechanism by which inflammation could contribute to the loss of taste remains largely unknown. NIDCD-funded researcher Hong Wang, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia, have used a mouse strain (MRL/lpr) that models lupus in humans to explore the effects of chronic inflammation on taste tissues. The investigators noted increased levels of inflammation-promoting immune system cells in the tongue tissue of MRL/lpr mice in association with lower expression levels of markers for Type II taste cells. (Type II taste cells reside within the taste buds and are responsive to sweet, bitter, and umami, or savory, flavors.) Taste buds appeared smaller in the MRL/lpr mice than in the control mice. In tasting tests, the MRL/lpr mice showed decreased responsiveness to bitter, sweet, and umami flavors, but responded normally to salty and sour flavors. The research provides new evidence linking autoimmune disease and chronic inflammation to selective changes in the structure and function of taste tissues in the tongue. These findings offer opportunities for further explorations that have the potential to improve
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Contact: Robin Latham
lathamr@nidcd.nih.gov
240-479-1891
NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Source:Eurekalert

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