Chemical Sensing Regulates Mastication/Swallowing

Author(s): Kensuke Yamamura, Masayuki Kurose, Keiichiro Okamoto.

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 22 , Issue 15 , 2016


Mastication and swallowing are the first stage of digestion involving several motor processes such as food intake, intra-oral food transport, bolus formation and chewing and swallowing reflex. These complicated motor functions are accomplished by the well-coordinated activities in the jaw, hyoid, tongue, facial and pharyngeal muscles. Although the basic activity patterns of these movements are controlled by the brainstem pattern generators, these movements generate various peripheral sensory inputs. Among the sensory inputs, it is well-known that somatic sensory inputs play important roles in reflexively modulating the movements so that the final motor outputs fit the environmental demand. However, little is known about the effects of chemical sensory inputs such as taste and olfaction originating from the ingested foods by these movements. A possible reason could be raised that cognition of the chemical sensory inputs at the higher brain also influences the movements, so it is difficult to discuss the neural mechanisms underlying the observed effect. In this review, we focus on the effects of chemical sensory inputs on the masticatory movements and initiation of swallowing. We first summarize chemical sensory inputs occurring during mastication and swallowing, and their receptive mechanisms. In addition, we will introduce the effect of application of monosodium L-glutamate (MSG) solution as an umami taste to the oropharynx on the swallow initiation which is involuntary controlled and the possible neural mechanisms underlying this effect is discussed.

Keywords: Mastication, swallowing, chemical stimulation, modulation, taste, glutamate, food.

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Article Details

Year: 2016
Page: [2279 - 2284]
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.2174/1381612822666160216151150
Price: $58

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