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International journal of Immunopathology, allergology, infectology.

Umami taste (sodium glutamate sensitivity) thresholds at gustometry in various variants of bronchial asthma

Mineev V.N., Vtornikova N.I.

Pavlov First Saint-Petersburg State Medical University

Today taste reception arouses a lot of interest, especially its pathogenetic role in pulmonology and bronchial asthma. Taste reception to umami, which one of the five basic gustatory sensations, remains the least studied.
The aim is to estimate the sensitivity to sodium glutamate, the ligand of glutamate receptors, with the help of threshold gustometry depending on various variants of bronchial asthma.
Materials and methods. We examined 54 practically healthy individuals and 55 patients with asthma in the clinic of hospital therapy named after M.V. Chernorutsky of I.P. Pavlov SPbSMU. The diagnosis was established in accordance with the criteria and standards of international consensus on the diagnosis and treatment of asthma (GINA, 2016). The taste sensitivity to sodium glutamate was assessed by threshold gustometry.
Results. It was revealed that the sensitivity of the tongue to the umami taste is significantly higher in allergic bronchial asthma, both in comparison with practically healthy persons, and in patients with a nonallergic variant of the disease. In patients with nonallergic bronchial asthma, taste sensitivity to sodium glutamate is similar to that of practically healthy individuals. In allergic bronchial asthma, a significant negative correlation was found between the taste sensitivity to sodium glutamate and the function of external respiration, but this indicator (MEF50/MIF50). Negative correlations of sensitivity to umami taste and the peripheral blood neutrophiles as well as C-reactive protein were revealed. In nonallergic bronchial asthma a correlation with such an indicator of the external respiration function as a change in the Tiffno index after β2-adrenomimetic inhalation was revealed. In the whole group of bronchial asthma patients a positive correlation was found between the sensitivity to umami taste and the peripheral blood monocytes.
Conclusion. The data obtained may indicate the possible involvement of a glutamatergic signal system assessed by gustometry as regulators of those processes that are involved in the development of inflammation and immune defense in bronchial asthma and are associated with the oldest protective sensory system - the gustatory system, that dictates the need for further study of these problems at cellular and molecular levels.


Bronchial asthma, taste receptors, umami taste receptors, threshold gustometry sodium glutamate.

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Mineev V.N., Vtornikova N.I. Immunopathology, allergology, infectology 2018; 3:47-54. DOI: 10.14427/jipai.2018.3.47