Salivary proteome and glucose levels are related with sweet taste sensitivity in young adults
Sweet taste plays a critical role in determining food preferences and choices. Similar to what happens for other oral sensations, individuals differ in their sensitivity for sweet taste and these inter-individual differences may be responsible for variations in food acceptance. Despite evidence that saliva plays a role in taste perception, this fluid has been mainly studied in the context of bitterness or astringency. We investigated the possible relationship between sweet taste sensitivity and salivary composition in subjects with different sucrose detection thresholds. Saliva collected from 159 young adults was evaluated for pH, total protein concentration and glucose. One- and bi-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) were performed and protein profiles compared between sweet sensitivity groups, with proteins that were differently expressed being identified by MALDI-FTICR-MS. Moreover, Western blotting was performed for salivary carbonic anhydrase VI (CA-VI) and cystatins and salivary amylase enzymatic activity was assessed in order to compare groups. Females with low sensitivity to sweet taste had higher salivary concentrations of glucose compared to those with sensitivity. For protein profiles, some differences were sex-dependent, with higher levels of α-amylase and CA-VI in low-sensitivity individuals and higher levels of cystatins in sensitive ones for both sexes. Body mass index was not observed to affect the association between salivary proteome and taste sensitivity. To our knowledge, these are the first data showing an association between sweet taste and saliva proteome.