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Immunocytochemical evidence for co-expression of Type III IP3 receptor with signaling components of bitter taste transduction

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2202-2-6

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Antibodies against Type I, II, and III IP3 receptors were tested on sections of rat and mouse circumvallate papillae. Robust cytoplasmic labeling for the Type III IP3 receptor (IP3R3) was found in a large subset of taste cells in both species. In contrast, little or no immunoreactivity was seen with antibodies against the Type I or Type II IP3 receptors. To investigate the potential role of IP3R3 in bitter taste transduction, we used double-label immunocytochemistry to determine whether IP3R3 is expressed in the same subset of cells expressing other bitter signaling components. IP3R3 immunoreactive taste cells were also immunoreactive for PLCβ2 and γ13. Alpha-gustducin immunoreactivity was present in a subset of IP3R3, PLCβ2, and γ13 positive cells.IP3R3 is the dominant form of the IP3 receptor expressed in taste cells and our data suggest it plays an important role in bitter taste transduction.Taste receptor cells are specialized epithelial cells, which are organized into discrete endorgans called taste buds. Typical taste buds contain 50-100 polarized taste cells, which extend from the basal lamina to the taste pore, where apical microvilli protrude into the oral cavity. The basolateral membrane forms chemical synapses with primary gustatory neurons (Fig. 1A). In mammals, lingual taste buds are housed in connective tissue structures called papillae. Fungiform papillae are located on the anterior two-thirds of the tongue and typically contain 1-2 taste buds each. Vallate and foliate papillae are found on the posterior tongue and house several hundred taste buds each. Taste transduction begins when sapid stimuli interact with the apical membrane of taste cells, usually resulting in taste cell depolarization, calcium influx, and transmitter release onto gustatory afferent neurons. Simple stimuli, such as salts and acids depolarize taste cells by direct interaction with apical ion channels. In contrast, complex stimuli, such as sugars, amino acids, and most bitter com


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