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The Sweetener-Sensing Mechanisms of the Ghrelin Cell

Gut Peptide Lab, Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders (TARGID), University of Leuven—KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2016, 8(12), 795;
Received: 12 October 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
Carbohydrate administration decreases plasma levels of the ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin. The ghrelin cell is co-localized with the sweet taste receptor subunit, TAS1R3, and the gustatory G-protein, gustducin, both involved in the sensing of sweeteners by entero-endocrine cells. This study investigated the role of gustducin-mediated sweet taste receptor signaling on ghrelin secretion in a gastric ghrelinoma cell line, tissue segments and mice. The monosaccharide d-glucose and low-intensity sweetener oligofructose (OFS) decreased (p < 0.001) ghrelin secretion while the high-intensity sweetener sucralose increased (p < 0.001) ghrelin secretion in vitro. These effects were not mediated via the sweet taste receptor or glucose transporters (the sodium-dependent glucose cotransporter SGLT-1 and GLUT2). The effect of these compounds was mimicked ex vivo in gastric and jejunal segments from both wild type (WT) and α-gustducin knockout (α-gust−/−) mice. In vivo, the sensing of d-glucose was polarized since intragastric but not intravenous administration of d-glucose decreased (p < 0.05) ghrelin levels in an α-gustducin independent manner which involved inhibition of duodenal ghrelin release. In contrast, neither OFS nor sucralose affected ghrelin secretion in vivo. In conclusion, α-gustducin-mediated sweet taste receptor signaling does not play a functional role in the sensing of carbohydrates, or low- or high-intensity sweeteners by the ghrelin cell. View Full-Text
Keywords: ghrelin; sweet taste receptor; glucose; sweeteners; gustducin ghrelin; sweet taste receptor; glucose; sweeteners; gustducin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Steensels, S.; Vancleef, L.; Depoortere, I. The Sweetener-Sensing Mechanisms of the Ghrelin Cell. Nutrients 2016, 8, 795.

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