Chemosensors in the Nose: Guardians of the Airways

Marco Tizzano, Thomas E. Finger


The G-protein-coupled receptor molecules and downstream effectors that are used by taste buds to detect sweet, bitter, and savory tastes are also utilized by chemoresponsive cells of the airways to detect irritants. Here, we describe the different cell types in the airways that utilize taste-receptor signaling to trigger protective epithelial and neural responses to potentially dangerous toxins and bacterial infection.


  • This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Comunication Disorders Grants P30 DC-04657, RO1 DC-009820 (to T. E. Finger), and RO3 DC-012413 (M. Tizzano).

  • No conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, are declared by the author(s).

  • Author contributions: M.T. and T.E.F. conception and design of research; M.T. and T.E.F. performed experiments; M.T. and T.E.F. analyzed data; M.T. and T.E.F. interpreted results of experiments; M.T. and T.E.F. prepared figures; M.T. and T.E.F. drafted manuscript; M.T. and T.E.F. edited and revised manuscript; M.T. and T.E.F. approved final version of manuscript.

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