What are the taste receptors on the testes for?

Verified on 09/09/2022 by PasseportSanté

Researchers made an amazing discovery a few years ago. They realized that the testicles have… taste receptors! If this revelation seems amusing, it is far from being anecdotal?! And for good reason, these taste receptors could be closely linked to male fertility…

Taste receptors… on the testicles!

According to a study published several years ago in the scientific journal “Proceedings Of The National Academy of Sciences”, the testicles are endowed with taste receptors. Although they are less receptive than those present on the tongue, the taste receptors of the testicles would still make it possible to detect two tastes: sweet and umami (the taste of glutamates and nucleotides which are considered to be the 5?taste).

FYI, taste receptors are not exclusively present in the mouth but more widely on the body such as in the stomach, intestines, pancreas, anus, bladder, heart, lungs… They would have for function, to be part of the chemical detection of sugars or amino acids.

Testicular taste receptors linked to male fertility

But then, what would the taste receptors of the testicles be used for? According to the researchers, taste receptors in the testicles may play an important role in reproduction. Indeed, when mouse taste receptors were removed or blocked (through cholesterol-lowering drugs, for example), scientists noticed that laboratory animals became infertile.

For the authors of the study, these results indicate a crucial role of these extraoral taste molecules in sperm development “. Following this discovery, Robert Margolskee, director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center and lead author of the study, said he wanted to “ identify the mechanisms in the testicles that use these taste receptors in order to understand how their disappearance leads to infertility “. The results could thus make it possible to obtain new drug leads to combat infertility and sterility.

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