Taste qualities of solutions preferred by hamsters.
Molecules of diverse chemical structure are sweet to humans and several lines of evidence (genetic, physiological, behavioral) suggest that there may be distinct sweet perceptual qualities. To address how many perceptual categories these molecules elicit in hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), we studied patterns of generalization of conditioned taste aversions for seven sweeteners: 100 mM sucrose, 320 mM maltose, 32 mM D-phenylalanine, 3.2 mM sodium saccharin, 16 mM calcium cyclamate, 10 mM dulcin and 32 mM sodium m-nitrobenzene sulfonate. Each stimulus was preferred versus water in two-bottle intake tests and stimulated the chorda tympani nerve. For each of seven experimental groups the conditional stimulus (CS) was a sweetener and for the control group the CS was water. Apomorphine.HCl was injected i.p. after a CS was sampled and, after recovery, test stimuli (TS) were presented for 1 h daily. The intake (ml) of each TS consumed by experimental animals was compared with mean TS intake by the control group. Learned aversions for 18/21 stimulus pairs cross-generalized, resulting in a single cluster of generalization patterns for the seven stimuli. Cross-generalization failures (maltose-cyclamate, maltose-sucrose, cyclamate-NaNBS) may be the consequence of particular stimulus features (e.g. salience, cation taste), rather than the absence of a 'sucrose-like' quality. The results are consistent with a single hamster perceptual quality for a diverse set of chemical structures that are sweet to humans. (+info)
Long-term toxicity and carcinogenicity study of cyclamate in nonhuman primates.
Twenty-one monkeys (cynomolgus, rhesus, African green) were fed cyclamate (100 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg) in the diet five times per week from a few days after birth and continuing for up to 24 years. Malignant tumors were diagnosed in three 24-year-old cyclamate monkeys; these were metastatic colon carcinoma (rhesus; 500 mg/kg), metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (cynomolgus; 500 mg/kg), and a small, well differentiated adenocarcinoma of the prostate (cynomolgus; 100 mg/kg). Benign tumors were found at necropsy in three females; these were adenoma of the thyroid gland (rhesus; 100 mg/kg) and two cases of leiomyoma of the uterus (rhesus; 100 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg). No tumors were detected in an age-matched control group of 16 monkeys. Examination of the testes revealed complete testicular atrophy in one of the old cyclamate monkeys, and focal germ cell aplasia (Sertoli-only tubules) in two other cyclamate monkeys. Focal spermatogenic interruption (maturation arrest) at various germ cell levels mixed with normal spermatogenesis was observed in both the cyclamate-treated and the control monkeys, all of which were over 20 years old. Measurements of terminal cyclohexylamine concentrations showed that three of the males dosed with cyclamate at 500 mg/kg were high converters, with plasma concentrations comparable to the levels that produce testicular atrophy in rats. However, only one of the three high converters showed histologic evidence of irregular spermatogenesis. The overall conclusion is that the testicular abnormalities and the sporadic cases of different malignancies found after more than 20 years of dosing do not provide clear evidence of a toxic or carcinogenic effect of sodium cyclamate in monkeys. (+info)
Pseudo-streaming potentials in Necturus gallbladder epithelium. I. Paracellular origin of the transepithelial voltage changes.
Apparent streaming potentials were elicited across Necturus gallbladder epithelium by addition or removal of sucrose from the apical bathing solution. In NaCl Ringer's solution, the transepithelial voltage (Vms) change (reference, basolateral solution) was positive with sucrose addition and negative with sucrose removal. Bilateral Cl- removal (cyclamate replacement) had no effect on the polarity or magnitude of the Vms change elicited by addition of 100 mM sucrose. In contrast, bilateral Na+ removal (tetramethylammonium [TMA+] replacement) inverted the Vms change (from 2.7 +/- 0.3 to -3.2 +/- 0.2 mV). Replacement of Na+ and Cl- with TMA+ and cyclamate, respectively, abolished the change in Vms. Measurements of cell membrane voltages and relative resistances during osmotic challenges indicate that changes in cell membrane parameters do not explain the transepithelial voltage changes. The initial changes in Vms were slower than expected from concomitant estimates of the time course of sucrose concentration (and hence osmolality) at the membrane surface. Paired recordings of the time courses of paracellular bi-ionic potentials (partial substitution of apical Na+ with tetrabutylammonium [TBA+]) revealed much faster time courses than those produced by sucrose addition, although the diffusion coefficients of sucrose and TBACl are similar. Hyperosmotic and hypoosmotic challenges yielded initial Vms changes at the same rate; thereafter, the voltage increased with hypoosmotic solution and decreased with hyperosmotic solution. These late voltage changes appear to result from changes in width of the lateral intercellular spaces. The early time courses of the Vms changes produced by osmotic challenge are inconsistent with the expectations for water-ion flux coupling in the junctions. We propose that they are pseudo-streaming potentials, i.e., junctional diffusion potentials caused by salt concentration changes in the lateral intercellular spaces secondary to osmotic water flow. (+info)
Different functional roles of T1R subunits in the heteromeric taste receptors.
The T1R receptors, a family of taste-specific class C G protein-coupled receptors, mediate mammalian sweet and umami tastes. The structure-function relationships of T1R receptors remain largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrate the different functional roles of T1R extracellular and transmembrane domains in ligand recognition and G protein coupling. Similar to other family C G protein-coupled receptors, the N-terminal Venus flytrap domain of T1R2 is required for recognizing sweeteners, such as aspartame and neotame. The G protein coupling requires the transmembrane domain of T1R2. Surprisingly, the C-terminal transmembrane domain of T1R3 is required for recognizing sweetener cyclamate and sweet taste inhibitor lactisole. Because T1R3 is the common subunit in the sweet taste receptor and the umami taste receptor, we tested the interaction of lactisole and cyclamate with the umami taste receptor. Lactisole inhibits the activity of the human T1R1/T1R3 receptor, and, as predicted, blocked the umami taste of l-glutamate in human taste tests. Cyclamate does not activate the T1R1/T1R3 receptor by itself, but potentiates the receptor's response to l-glutamate. Taken together, these findings demonstrate the different functional roles of T1R3 and T1R2 and the presence of multiple ligand binding sites on the sweet taste receptor. (+info)
Artificial sweeteners--do they bear a carcinogenic risk?
Artificial sweeteners are added to a wide variety of food, drinks, drugs and hygiene products. Since their introduction, the mass media have reported about potential cancer risks, which has contributed to undermine the public's sense of security. It can be assumed that every citizen of Western countries uses artificial sweeteners, knowingly or not. A cancer-inducing activity of one of these substances would mean a health risk to an entire population. We performed several PubMed searches of the National Library of Medicine for articles in English about artificial sweeteners. These articles included 'first generation' sweeteners such as saccharin, cyclamate and aspartame, as well as 'new generation' sweeteners such as acesulfame-K, sucralose, alitame and neotame. Epidemiological studies in humans did not find the bladder cancer-inducing effects of saccharin and cyclamate that had been reported from animal studies in rats. Despite some rather unscientific assumptions, there is no evidence that aspartame is carcinogenic. Case-control studies showed an elevated relative risk of 1.3 for heavy artificial sweetener use (no specific substances specified) of >1.7 g/day. For new generation sweeteners, it is too early to establish any epidemiological evidence about possible carcinogenic risks. As many artificial sweeteners are combined in today's products, the carcinogenic risk of a single substance is difficult to assess. However, according to the current literature, the possible risk of artificial sweeteners to induce cancer seems to be negligible. (+info)
Identification of the cyclamate interaction site within the transmembrane domain of the human sweet taste receptor subunit T1R3.
The artificial sweetener cyclamate tastes sweet to humans, but not to mice. When expressed in vitro, the human sweet receptor (a heterodimer of two taste receptor subunits: hT1R2 + hT1R3) responds to cyclamate, but the mouse receptor (mT1R2 + mT1R3) does not. Using mixed-species pairings of human and mouse sweet receptor subunits, we determined that responsiveness to cyclamate requires the human form of T1R3. Using chimeras, we determined that it is the transmembrane domain of hT1R3 that is required for the sweet receptor to respond to cyclamate. Using directed mutagenesis, we identified several amino acid residues within the transmembrane domain of T1R3 that determine differential responsiveness to cyclamate of the human versus mouse sweet receptors. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis of residues predicted to line a transmembrane domain binding pocket in hT1R3 identified six residues specifically involved in responsiveness to cyclamate. Using molecular modeling, we docked cyclamate within the transmembrane domain of T1R3. Our model predicts substantial overlap in the hT1R3 binding pockets for the agonist cyclamate and the inverse agonist lactisole. The transmembrane domain of T1R3 is likely to play a critical role in the interconversion of the sweet receptor from the ground state to the active state. (+info)
Electrophysiological effects of extracellular ATP on Necturus gallbladder epithelium.
The effects of addition of ATP to the mucosal bathing solution on transepithelial, apical, and basolateral membrane voltages and resistances in Necturus gallbladder epithelium were determined. Mucosal ATP (100 microM) caused a rapid hyperpolarization of both apical (Vmc) and basolateral (Vcs) cell membrane voltages (delta Vm = 18 +/- 1 mV), a fall in transepithelial resistance (Rt) from 142 +/- 8 to 122 +/- 7 omega.cm2, and a decrease in fractional apical membrane resistance (fRa) from 0.93 +/- 0.02 to 0.83 +/- 0.03. The rapid initial hyperpolarization of Vmc and Vcs was followed by a slower depolarization of cell membrane voltages and a lumen-negative change in transepithelial voltage (Vms). This phase also included an additional decrease in fRa. Removal of the ATP caused a further depolarization of membrane voltages followed by a hyperpolarization and then a return to control values. fRa fell to a minimum after removal of ATP and then returned to control values as the cell membrane voltages repolarized. Similar responses could be elicited by ADP but not by adenosine. The results of two-point cable experiments revealed that ATP induced an initial increase in cell membrane conductance followed by a decrease. Transient elevations of mucosal solution [K+] induced a larger depolarization of Vmc and Vcs during exposure to ATP than under control conditions. Reduction of mucosal solution [Cl-] induced a slow hyperpolarization of Vmc and Vcs before exposure to ATP and a rapid depolarization during exposure to ATP. We conclude that ATP4- is the active agent and that it causes a concentration-dependent increase in apical and basolateral membrane K+ permeability. In addition, an apical membrane electrodiffusive Cl- permeability is activated by ATP4-. (+info)
Potential carcinogenicity of food additives and contaminants.
The potential role in carcinogenesis of food additives and contaminants presents a complex problem in terms of assessing the risk to the general public. Long-term testing in laboratory animals is still the most feasible method for determining potential carcinogenicity of various chemicals. The disadvantages encountered in the present methods of animal testing are discussed and a review is made of the current status of particular food additives and contaminants under scrutiny as possible carcinogens. It is suggested that, since it may not be possible to remove all carcinogenic materials from the environment, methods to mitigate or neutralize their harmful effects should be sought. Greater cooperation is called for among food technologists, toxicologists, laboratory researchers, and epidemiologists in the decision-making process regarding the role of possibly carcinogenic additives and contaminants. (+info)