Yuzo Ninomiya

Adjunct Faculty


Adjunct Distinguished Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center
Professor, Division of Sensory Physiology, Research and Development Center for Five-Sense Devices, Kyushu University
Emeritus Professor (Distinguished Professor), Graduate School of Dental Sciences, Kyushu University
Professor (Visiting), Oral Health Science Center, Tokyo Dental College


Ph.D., Animal Physiology; Nagoya University
M.D. Sci., Physiology; Nagoya City University

Research Summary

Using electrophysiology and molecular biology we are seeking to understand the coding mechanisms underlying salty, umami (savory) and sweet taste qualities. We are also studying how hormones regulate taste responses. My group has found that hormones including leptin, endocannabinoids and angiotensin II modulate peripheral sweet and/or salty taste responses. Our studies show that modulation of peripheral sweet taste signaling by hormones likely contributes to the regulation of ingestive behavior.


taste, molecular genetics, cellular physiology, neurophysiology, behavioral physiology, taste reception, taste transduction, taste transmission, taste modulation, metabolic syndrome, obesity

Representative Publications

Yasumatsu K, Ohkuri T, Yoshida R, Iwata S, Margolskee RF, Ninomiya Y. (2020) Sodium-glucose cotransporter 1 as a sugar taste sensor in mouse tongue. Acta Physiologica (Oxf), e13529. .

Shigemura N, Takai S, Hirose F, Yoshida R, Sanematsu K, Ninomiya Y. (2019) Expression of renin-angiotensin system components in the taste organ in mice. Nutrients, 11(9): 2251

Yasumatsu K, Iwata S, Inoue M, Ninomiya Y. (2019) Fatty acids taste quality information via GPR120 in the anterior tongue of mice. Acta Physiologica (Oxf), 226(1): e13215

Sanematsu K, Nakamura Y, Nomura M, Shigemura N, Ninomiya Y. (2018) Diurnal variation of sweet taste recognition thresholds is absent in overweight and obese humans. Nutrients 10(3): 297

Sukumaran SK, Yee KK, Iwata S, Kotha R, Quezada-Calvillo R, Nichols BL, Mohan S, Pinto BM, Shigemura N, Ninomiya Y, Margolskee RF. (2016) Taste cell-expressed α-glucosidase enzymes contribute to gustatory responses to disaccharides. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 113, 6035-6040.

Yoshida R, Noguchi K, Shigemura N, Jyotaki M, Takahashi I, Margolskee RF, Ninomiya Y. (2015) Leptin suppressed mouse taste cell responses to sweet compounds. Diabetes, 64:3751-62.