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T2R Taste Receptors & How They Protect Rats

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When we first started looking at these receptors, they were really studied initially in rats. When rats used them, rats will smell things in their environment to try to pick up if it's a potential pathogen and may hurt them. If it is a potential pathogen, one of the responses of this receptor is it stimulates a very unpleasant or noxious response and tells them sort of stay away from it so it doesn't hurt them. If they do take it on, the receptor activates and actually produces several things. One of them is mucus production to help dilute things out. Mucus increases mucociliary clearance to sweep the bad stuff along and then one of its end byproducts is nitric oxide production, which in turn prevents maturation of the spike protein.

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