AUTHORS: Sara Comesaña, Marta Conde-Sieira, Cristina Velasco, José L. Soengas, Sofia Morais
BOOK/JOURNAL:Journal of Experimental Biology (2020) 223, jeb221721. doi:10.1242/jeb.221721
To assess the putative role of taste and pre-absorptive sensing of amino acids in food intake control in fish, we carried out an oral administration with L-leucine, L-valine, L-proline or L-glutamic acid in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Treatment with proline significantly reduced voluntary food intake at 2 h and 3 h after oral administration, while glutamic acid showed a less pronounced satiating effect at 3 h. The mRNA expression of taste receptor subunits tas1r1, tas1r2a, tas1r2b and tas1r3 was measured in the epithelium overlying the bony basihyal of the fish (analogous to the tetrapod tongue) at 10, 20 or 30 min following treatment. No significant changes were observed, except for a tas1r downregulation by valine at 30 min. Of the downstream taste signalling genes that were analysed in parallel, plcb2 and possibly trpm5 (nonsignificant trend) were down-regulated 20 min after proline and glutamic acid treatment. The signal originated in the oropharyngeal and/or gastric cavity presumably relays to the brain as changes in genes involved in the regulation of food intake occurred in hypothalamus 10–30 min after oral treatment with amino acids.
In particular, proline induced changes consistent with an increased anorexigenic potential in the hypothalamus. We have therefore demonstrated, for the first time in fish, that the peripheral (preabsorptive) detection of an amino acid (L-proline), presumably by taste-related mechanisms, elicits a satiety signal that in hypothalamus is translated into changes in cellular signalling and neuropeptides regulating food intake, ultimately resulting in decreased food intake.