Nasal chemosensory cells use bitter taste signaling to detect irritants and bacterial signals.

@article{Tizzano2010NasalCC,
  title={Nasal chemosensory cells use bitter taste signaling to detect irritants and bacterial signals.},
  author={Marco Tizzano and Brian D Gulbransen and Aurelie Vandenbeuch and Tod R Clapp and Jake P Herman and Hiruy M Sibhatu and Mair E. A. Churchill and Wayne L. Silver and Sue C Kinnamon and Thomas E Finger},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  year={2010},
  volume={107 7},
  pages={3210-5}
}
The upper respiratory tract is continually assaulted with harmful dusts and xenobiotics carried on the incoming airstream. Detection of such irritants by the trigeminal nerve evokes protective reflexes, including sneezing, apnea, and local neurogenic inflammation of the mucosa. Although free intra-epithelial nerve endings can detect certain lipophilic irritants (e.g., mints, ammonia), the epithelium also houses a population of trigeminally innervated solitary chemosensory cells (SCCs) that… CONTINUE READING
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