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Bitter treats for better breathing

A new study in mice and human tissue shows that activation of bitter taste receptors in the airways relaxes airway smooth muscle, resulting in bronchodilation (pages 1299–1304). Agonists of these receptors seem to be better than current β2-adrenergic bronchodilators in a mouse asthma model, suggesting a new way to ease breathing during asthma.

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Figure 1: Bitter tastants induce bronchodilation in a mouse model of asthma.

Marina Corral

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Correspondence to J Mark Madison.

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Sanderson, M., Madison, J. Bitter treats for better breathing. Nat Med 16, 1190–1191 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/nm1110-1190

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