Shawn DotsonAssistant Professor Neuroscience
PhD, Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Florida
MS, Clinical Neuropsychology, University of Florida
BA, Psychology, University of West Florida
Dr. Dotson’s laboratory is dedicated to gaining a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying chemosensory function in mammals and how these functions, in turn, impact upon ingestive behaviors:
I am principally interested in the functional organization of the gustatory system in the periphery, with a particular focus on the receptor basis of taste specificity. Mammals utilize several distinct populations of taste receptor cells to detect chemical cues that contain important information about the quality of foods. Exactly how these various cell populations contribute to the process of translating the physical properties of taste stimuli into neural activity still remains somewhat of a mystery. My laboratory uses sophisticated animal psychophysical testing to evaluate these processes in animals that have genetically or otherwise manipulated nervous systems. These studies may lead to the design of food additives that could benefit individuals suffering from conditions that are linked to excessive intake of foodstuffs (e.g., alcoholism, type 2 diabetes).
I am also interested in the influence of taste receptors on nutritional intake, as well as the postprandial response to nutrients. We are attempting to assess how normal variation in taste functioning is associated with diet, lifestyle behavior, and metabolic disease. Since the sense of taste affects our food choices and eating habits, it may have a significant impact on obesity, diabetes and related disorders. Additionally, the recent discovery that taste receptors, which were thought to be expressed exclusively in the oronasal cavity, are also expressed in cells of the lower gastrointestinal tract, suggests that they may be involved in the nutrient-dependent regulation of metabolism, providing another route through which taste receptor polymorphisms may impact upon health. Thus, we are investigating the influence of variation in genes associated with gustatory function on obesity- and diabetes-related traits. These genetic studies will help us to better establish the relationships between taste function and disease
Crosson S.M., Marques A., Dib P., Dotson C.D., Munger S.D. and Zolotukhin S (2019) Taste receptor cells in mice express receptors for the hormone adiponectin. Chem Senses, 44(6), 409 – 422.
Hudson S.D., Sims C.A., Odabasi A.Z., Colquhoun T.A., Snyder D.J., Stamps J.J., Dotson C.D., Puentes L., and Bartoshuk L.M. (2018) Flavor alterations associated with miracle fruit and gymnema sylvestre. Chem Senses, 43(7), 481 – 488.
Williams J.A., Bartoshuk L.M., Fillingim R.B., and Dotson C.D. (2016) Exploring ethnic differences in taste perception. Chem Senses, 8(2), 61 – 77.
Ciullo D.L., and Dotson C.D. (2015) Using animal models to determine the role of gustatory neural input in the control of ingestive behavior and the maintenance of body weight. Chemosens Percept, 8(2), 61 – 77.
Loper H.B., La Sala M., Dotson C.D., and Steinle N.I. (2015) Taste perception, associated hormonal modulation, and nutrient intake. Nutr Rev, 73(2), 83 – 91.
Clark A.A., Dotson C.D., Elson A.E.T., Voigt, A., Boehm, U., Meyerhof, W., Steinle N.I., and Munger S.D. (2014) TAS2R bitter taste receptors regulate human thyroid function. FASEB J, 29(1), 164 – 172.
Hurtado M.D., Sergeyev V., Acosta A., Spegele M., La Sala M., Herzog H., Dotson C.D., Gorbatyuk O., and Zolotukhin S. (2013) Salivary PYY3-36 modulates ingestive behavior without inducing taste aversion. J Neurosci, 33(47),18368 – 18380.
La Sala M., Hurtado M.D., Brown A.R., Bohόrquez D.V., Liddle R.A., Herzog H., Zolotukhin S., and Dotson C.D. (2013) Modulation of taste responsiveness by the satiation hormone peptide YY. FASEB J, 27(12), 5022 – 5033.
Dotson C.D. Geraedts M.C.P., and Munger S.D (2013). Peptide regulators of peripheral taste function. Semin Cell Dev Biol, 24(3), 232 – 239.
Hurtado M.D., Acosta A., Riveros P.P., Baum B., Ukhanov K., Brown A.R., Dotson C.D., Herzog H., and Zolotukhin S (2012) Distribution of Y-receptors in murine lingual epithelia. PLoS One, 7(9), e46358.
Dotson C.D., Colbert C.L., Garcea M., Smith J.C., and Spector A.C. (2012) The consequences of gustatory deafferentation on body mass and feeding patterns in the rat. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 303(6), R611 – 623.
Dotson C.D., Wallace M.R., Bartoshuk L.M., and Logan H.L. (2012) Variation in the gene TAS2R13 is associated with differences in alcohol consumption in patients with head and neck cancer. Chem Senses, 37(8), 737-744.
Dotson C.D. and Steinle N.I. (2012) Genetic Predisposition and Taste Preference. Current Nutrition Reports, 1(3), 175 – 183.
Geraedts M.C.P., Takahashi T., Vigues S, Cockerham R.E., Nkobena A., Hajnal A., Dotson C.D., Rizzo M.A., and Munger S.D. (2012) Sweet taste receptor-independent GLP-1 secretion emerges in colon upon gastric bypass. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 303(4), E464 – E474.
Elson A.E.T., Dotson C.D., Egan J.M., and Munger S.D. (2010) Glucagon signaling modulates sweet taste responsivity. FASEB J, 24(10), 3960 – 3969.
Dotson C.D. (2010) The search for mechanisms underlying the sour taste evoked by acids continues. Chem Senses, 35(7), 545 – 547.
Dotson C.D.1, Vigues S.1, and Munger S.D. (2010) T1R and T2R receptors: modulation of incretin hormones and potential targets for treatment of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Curr Opin Investig Drugs 11(4), 447 – 454 (1These authors contributed equally to the work).
Dotson C.D., Shaw H., Munger S.D., and Steinle N.I. (2010) Variation in the gene TAS2R38 is associated with the eating behavior disinhibition in Old Order Amish women. Appetite, 54(1), 93 – 99.
Martin B.1, Dotson C.D. 1, Shin Y.K., Ji S., Drucker D.J., Maudsley S., and Munger S.D. (2009) Modulation of taste sensitivity by GLP-1 signaling in taste buds. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1170, 98 – 101 (1These authors contributed equally to the work).
Vigues S.1, Dotson C.D.1, and Munger S.D. (2009) The receptor basis of sweet taste in mammals. Results Probl Cell Differ, 47, 187 – 202 (1These authors contributed equally to the work).
Dotson C.D., Zhang L., Xu H., Shin Y.K., Vigues S., Ott S.H., Elson A.E.T., Choi H.J., Shaw H., Egan J.M., Mitchell B.D., Li X., Steinle N.I., and Munger S.D. (2008) Bitter taste receptors influence glucose homeostasis. PLoS ONE, 3(12), e3974.
Shin Y.K.1, Martin B.1, Golden E., Dotson C.D., Maudsley S., Kim W., Jang H.J., Mattson M.P., Drucker D.J., Egan J.M., and Munger S.D. (2008) Modulation of taste sensitivity by GLP-1 signaling. J Neurochem, 106(1), 455 – 463 (1These authors contributed equally to the work).
Dotson C.D. and Spector A.C. (2007) Behavioral discrimination between sucrose and other natural sweeteners in mice: implications for the neural coding of T1R ligands. J Neurosci, 27(42), 11242 – 11253.
Dotson C.D. and Spector A.C. (2005) The effects of drinking spout orifice size on licking behavior in inbred mice. Physiol Behav, 85(5), 655 – 661.
Dotson C.D., Roper S.D. and Spector A.C. (2005) PLCβ2-independent behavioral avoidance of prototypical bitter-tasting ligands. Chem Senses, 30(7), 593 – 600.
Dotson C.D. and Spector A.C. (2004) The relative affective potency of glycine, L-serine and sucrose as assessed by a brief-access taste test in inbred strains of mice. Chem Senses, 29(6), 489 – 498.