Cellular expression of α-gustducin and the a blood group antigen in rat fungiform taste buds cross-reinnervated by the IXth nerve

David V. Smith, Joydeep Som, John Boughter, Steven J. St. John, Chengsi Yu, Robert C. Christy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although taste buds are trophically dependent on their innervation, cross-reinnervation experiments have shown that their gustatory sensitivities are determined by the local epithelium. Both the gustatory G-protein, α- gustducin, and the cell-surface carbohydrate, the A blood group antigen, are expressed by significantly fewer fungiform than vallate taste cells in the rat. In these experiments, one side of the anterior portion of the tongue was cross-reinnervated by the IXth nerve in order to determine whether the molecular expression of taste bud cells is determined by the epithelium from which they arise or by the nerve on which they are trophically dependent. The proximal portion of the IXth nerve was anastomosed to the distal portion of the chorda tympani (CT) nerve using fibrin glue (IX-CT rats). Control animals had the CT cut and reanastomosed using the same technique (CT-CT rats), or had the CT avulsed from the bulla and resected to prevent regeneration (CTX rats). The animals survived for 12 weeks postoperatively, and the tongues were removed, stained with methylene blue, and the fungiform taste pores counted on both sides. Tissue from the anterior 5 mm of the tongue was cut into 50-μm sections, which were incubated with antibodies against α- gustducin and the human blood group A antigen. In both CT-CT and IX-CT rats, there was regeneration of fungiform taste buds, although in both groups there were significantly fewer taste buds on the operated side of the tongue. The normal vallate papilla had a mean of 8.37 α-gustducin-expressing cells and 5.22 A-expressing cells per taste bud, whereas the fungiform papillae contained 3.06 and 0.23 cells per taste bud, respectively. In both CT-CT and IX-CT rats there was a normal number of cells expressing α-gustducin or the A antigen in regenerated taste buds; in the CTX animals there was a significant decrease in the expression of these markers. These results demonstrate that the molecular phenotype of taste bud cells is determined by the local epithelium from which they arise and not by properties of the innervating nerve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-130
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Volume409
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 21 1999
Externally publishedYes

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Taste Buds
Blood Group Antigens
Tongue
Epithelium
Regeneration
Chorda Tympani Nerve
Fibrin Tissue Adhesive
gustducin
Methylene Blue
Blister
GTP-Binding Proteins
Cell Count
Carbohydrates
Phenotype
Antigens
Antibodies

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Cellular expression of α-gustducin and the a blood group antigen in rat fungiform taste buds cross-reinnervated by the IXth nerve. / Smith, David V.; Som, Joydeep; Boughter, John; St. John, Steven J.; Yu, Chengsi; Christy, Robert C.

In: Journal of Comparative Neurology, Vol. 409, No. 1, 21.06.1999, p. 118-130.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Smith, David V. ; Som, Joydeep ; Boughter, John ; St. John, Steven J. ; Yu, Chengsi ; Christy, Robert C. / Cellular expression of α-gustducin and the a blood group antigen in rat fungiform taste buds cross-reinnervated by the IXth nerve. In: Journal of Comparative Neurology. 1999 ; Vol. 409, No. 1. pp. 118-130.
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