Patients with phantogeusia show increased expression of T2R taste receptor genes in their tongues

Ryoji Hirai, Kyoichi Takao, Keiko Onoda, Shinichiro Kokubun, Minoru Ikeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The taste receptor gene family T2R has been implicated in the sensation of bitter taste. Phantogeusia is a spontaneous abnormal taste with no external stimulus. We analyzed the expression of T2R taste receptor genes in the tongues of patients with phantogeusia to assess their role in the pathogenesis of phantogeusia. Methods: We obtained specimens from 43 patients with phantogeusia and 24 normal volunteers by scraping the foliate papillae and examined these specimens for the expression of 10 T2R taste receptor genes using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and electrophoresis. Results: The expression rate (subjects with detectable expression) of the 10 taste receptor genes in the healthy subjects ranged from 16.7% to 100%; 3 receptor genes were found in 50% or fewer of these subjects. In the patients with phantogeusia, the expression rate was increased significantly compared to that in the healthy control subjects for 3 of the 10 receptor genes examined. Conclusions: Our results show that the expression rate of some of the T2R taste receptor genes was increased significantly in patients with phantogeusia. These results suggest that increased expression of taste receptor genes is involved in the pathogenesis of phantogeusia; this finding may contribute to elucidation of the mechanism of this disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • Bitterness
  • Phantogeusia
  • T2R
  • TAS2R
  • Taste disorder
  • Taste receptor gene


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