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Article

Bitter Taste Disrupts Spatial Discrimination of Piperine-Evoked Burning Sensations: A Pilot Study

1
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
2
Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany
3
Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mugurel Constantin Rusu and Francesco Cappello
Biology 2021, 10(9), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10090886
Received: 8 August 2021 / Revised: 2 September 2021 / Accepted: 7 September 2021 / Published: 8 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Anatomy and Pathophysiology)
The chemical senses smell, taste, and trigeminal sense enable us to interact with the environment and play an essential role in protecting us from hazardous events. It is theorized that capsaicin and piperine not only elicit burning, but also bitter sensations through bitter taste-responding gustatory receptor cells that possess special channels. Similar psychophysiological responses to capsaicin and piperine suggest that bitter taste might also disrupt the spatial discrimination to piperine-induced burning sensations. Results showed that bitter taste disrupted the spatial discrimination of piperine-evoked burning sensations, providing further evidence for a qualitative similarity between burning and bitter sensations and the usefulness of chemical irritants in spatial discrimination tasks.
This study aimed to investigate the perceptual similarity between piperine-induced burning sensations and bitter taste using piperine-impregnated taste strips (PTS). This pilot study included 42 healthy participants. PTS of six ascending concentrations (1 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, and 25 mg piperine/dL 96% ethanol) were presented at the anterior tongue, and participants rated perceived intensity and duration. Then, participants performed a spatial discrimination task in which they had to report which of the two strips presented to the anterior tongue contained an irritating stimulus when one strip was always a PTS while the other strip was impregnated with either a single taste quality (sweet or bitter) or a blank strip. Repeated measures one-way ANOVA revealed that burning sensations of higher concentrated PTS were perceived more intense and more prolonged compared to lower concentrated PTS. McNemar’s test showed that PTS were identified correctly significantly less often when presented with bitter strips compared to when presented with blank (p = 0.002) or sweet strips (p = 0.017). Our results showed that bitter taste disrupts the spatial discrimination of piperine-evoked burning sensations. PTS might serve as a basis for further studies on disease-specific patterns in chemosensory disorders. View Full-Text
Keywords: chemesthesis; gustation; trigeminal; tongue; piperine; chemical senses chemesthesis; gustation; trigeminal; tongue; piperine; chemical senses
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, D.T.; Besser, G.; Bayer, K.; Prem, B.; Mueller, C.A.; Renner, B. Bitter Taste Disrupts Spatial Discrimination of Piperine-Evoked Burning Sensations: A Pilot Study. Biology 2021, 10, 886. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10090886

AMA Style

Liu DT, Besser G, Bayer K, Prem B, Mueller CA, Renner B. Bitter Taste Disrupts Spatial Discrimination of Piperine-Evoked Burning Sensations: A Pilot Study. Biology. 2021; 10(9):886. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10090886

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liu, David T., Gerold Besser, Karina Bayer, Bernhard Prem, Christian A. Mueller, and Bertold Renner. 2021. "Bitter Taste Disrupts Spatial Discrimination of Piperine-Evoked Burning Sensations: A Pilot Study" Biology 10, no. 9: 886. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10090886

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