A Link Between Taste Genes and Fertility

A Link Between Taste Genes and Fertility

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, AMC

posted on Jan 21, 2014, at 9:51 pm

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SCIENTISTS HAVE BEEN STUDYING the proteins known as taste receptors, which let you know when something is sweet, salty, bitter or savory. These receptors have also been found in other locations in the body, such as the stomach, intestines, pancreas, lungs and brain, though their functions remain uncertain.

It was discovered that TAS1R3, one of the taste receptors responsible for sweetness, and GNAT3, a molecule assisting in sending signals from the taste receptors to the brain, were both found in the testicles and sperm of mice. A study shows, rather unexpectedly, that taste proteins are vital in male reproduction. Scientists gave mice the human form of TAS1R3 and GNAT3, and then administered the drug clofibrate – which hinders the human receptor. Malformed and fewer sperm were produced, resulting in the males becoming sterile. When the drug was withdrawn, the mice quickly became fertile again.

Clofibrates belong to a class of chemicals called fibrates, which are often used as a treatment for lipid disorders, like high levels of triglycerides and high blood cholesterol. It is suspected that these medicines may be contributing to the dramatic worldwide increase in male infertility.

This knowledge can be used to construct treatments that can lessen or reverse the repercussion of fibrates. It is also help scientists devise a non-hormonal contraceptive for men that won’t disturb hormone levels vital to normal life.

To read the full article, visit Scientific American

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

Contact Mackenzie at mackenzie.thompson@advmedcert.com
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