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Perinatal Administration of a Bitter Tastant Influences Gene Expression in Chicken Palate and Duodenum

Cheled-Shoval, Shira L., Behrens, Maik, Meyerhof, Wolfgang, Niv, Masha Y., Uni, Zehava
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2014 v.62 no.52 pp. 12512-12520
bitterness, chickens, chicks, duodenum, food choices, food intake, gene expression, genes, mammals, palate, quinine, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, signal transduction, taste, taste receptors, tongue
Bitter taste receptors (Tas2rs) and downstream effectors are responsible for mediating bitterness perception and regulation of food choice in mammals. Using RT-PCR, we demonstrated the expression of three Tas2rs and taste signal transduction molecules, α-gustducin, PLCβ2, and TRPM5, in the palate, tongue, and gastrointestinal tract sections in chicken. The bitter tastant quinine activates all three chicken Tas2rs in vitro as shown using calcium-imaging assays of transfected cells. Administration of quinine postnatally or perinatally (both pre- and posthatch) to chickens increased the expression of Tas2r genes in the palate by 6.45-fold (ggTas2r1 postnatal treatment), 4.86-fold (ggTas2r1 perinatal treatment), and 4.48-fold (ggTas2r7 postnatal treatment) compared to the genes’ expression in the naı̈ve group respectively, and affected taste related gene expression in the duodenum. Whereas no-choice intake of quinine solution was not significantly lower than that of water in naı̈ve chicks, the treatment groups postnatal, prenatal, and perinatal showed significantly lower intake of quinine by 56.1, 47.7, and 50.2%, respectively, suggesting a possible trend toward sensitization. These results open new venues toward unraveling the formative stages shaping food intake and nutrition in chicken.