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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 437;

Taste Receptors Mediate Sinonasal Immunity and Respiratory Disease

Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center Surgical Services, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francesco B. Blasi
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 11 February 2017 / Accepted: 12 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Diseases: Chronic Respiratory Infections)
Full-Text   |   PDF [828 KB, uploaded 20 February 2017]   |  


The bitter taste receptor T2R38 has been shown to play a role in the pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), where the receptor functions to enhance upper respiratory innate immunity through a triad of beneficial immune responses. Individuals with a functional version of T2R38 are tasters for the bitter compound phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) and exhibit an anti-microbial response in the upper airway to certain invading pathogens, while those individuals with a non-functional version of the receptor are PTC non-tasters and lack this beneficial response. The clinical ramifications are significant, with the non-taster genotype being an independent risk factor for CRS requiring surgery, poor quality-of-life (QOL) improvements post-operatively, and decreased rhinologic QOL in patients with cystic fibrosis. Furthermore, indirect evidence suggests that non-tasters also have a larger burden of biofilm formation. This new data may influence the clinical management of patients with infectious conditions affecting the upper respiratory tract and possibly at other mucosal sites throughout the body. View Full-Text
Keywords: taste receptors; chronic rhinosinusitis; mucociliary clearance; airway physiology; biofilm; innate immunity; upper respiratory infection taste receptors; chronic rhinosinusitis; mucociliary clearance; airway physiology; biofilm; innate immunity; upper respiratory infection

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Douglas, J.E.; Cohen, N.A. Taste Receptors Mediate Sinonasal Immunity and Respiratory Disease. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 437.

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