Arbiter of Taste: Energy molecule transmits flavor to brain


Sue Kinnamon of Colorado State University in Fort Collins and her team noted that ATP assumes the role of neurotransmitter in a few other places in the body. For example, ATP transmits information about blood-oxygen concentrations from sensors called carotid bodies to nerves. Because both carotid bodies and taste buds detect chemicals, the team wondered whether ATP might be the mystery neurotransmitter, says Kinnamon’s colleague Leslie Stone-Roy, also of Colorado State.