IJMS, Vol. 23, Pages 15540: Bitter Taste Receptors and Endocrine Disruptors: Cellular and Molecular Insights from an In Vitro Model of Human Granulosa Cells (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are compounds that interfere with the synthesis, transport and binding action of hormones responsible for reproduction and homeostasis. Some EDCs compounds are activators of Taste bitter Receptors, a subclass of taste receptors expressed in many extraoral locations, including sperm and follicular somatic cells. This makes TAS2Rs attractive molecules to study and investigate to shed light on the effect of EDCs on female reproduction and fertility. This study aims to assess the effect of selected EDCs [namely Biochanin A (BCA), caffeine, Daidzein, Genistein and Isoflavone] on hGL5, an immortalized cell line exhibiting characteristics coherent with primary follicular granulosa cells. After demonstrating that this model expresses all the TAS2Rs (TAS2R3, TAS2R4, TAS2R14, TAS2R19, TAS2R43) specifically expressed by the primary human granulosa cells, we demonstrated that BCA and caffeine significantly affect mitochondrial footprint and intracellular lipid content, indicating their contribution in steroidogenesis. Our results showed that bitter taste receptors may be involved in steroidogenesis, thus suggesting an appealing mechanism by which these compounds affect the female reproductive system.