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Emerging Role of Sensory Perception in Aging and Metabolism.

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2016 May;27(5):294-303

Authors: Riera CE, Dillin A

Sensory perception comprises gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell) modalities as well as somatosensory (pain, heat, and tactile mechanosensory) inputs, which are detected by a multitude of sensory receptors. These sensory receptors are contained in specialized ciliated neurons where they detect changes in environmental conditions and participate in behavioral decisions ranging from food choice to avoiding harmful conditions, thus insuring basic survival in metazoans. Recent genetic studies, however, indicate that sensory perception plays additional physiological functions, notably influencing energy homeostatic processes and longevity through neuronal circuits originating from sensory tissues. Here we review how these findings are redefining metabolic signaling and establish a prominent role of sensory neuroendocrine processes in controlling health span and lifespan, with a goal of translating this knowledge towards managing age-associated diseases.

PMID: 27067041 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]