Effects and Mechanisms of Tastants on the Gustatory-Salivary Reflex in Human Minor Salivary Glands

Shizuko Satoh-Kuriwada, Noriaki Shoji, Hiroyuki Miyake, Chiyo Watanabe, Takashi Sasano

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The effects and mechanisms of tastes on labial minor salivary gland (LMSG) secretion were investigated in 59 healthy individuals. Stimulation with each of the five basic tastes (i.e., sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami) onto the tongue induced LMSG secretion in a dose-dependent manner. Umami and sour tastes evoked greater secretion than did the other tastes. A synergistic effect of umami on LMSG secretion was recognized: A much greater increase in secretion was observed by a mixed solution of monosodium glutamate and inosine 5′-monophosphate than by each separate stimulation. Blood flow (BF) in the nearby labial mucosa also increased following stimulation by each taste except bitter. The BF change and LMSG secretion in each participant showed a significant positive correlation with all tastes, including bitter. Administration of cevimeline hydrochloride hydrate to the labial mucosa evoked a significant increase in both LMSG secretion and BF, while adrenaline, atropine, and pirenzepine decreased LMSG secretion and BF. The change in LMSG secretion and BF induced by each autonomic agent was significantly correlated in each participant. These results indicate that basic tastes can induce the gustatory-salivary reflex in human LMSGs and that parasympathetic regulation is involved in this mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3847075
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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