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Activation of Type III cells in mammalian taste buds is implicated in the transduction of acids (sour) and salty stimuli. Several lines of evidence suggest that function of Type III cells in the anterior taste fields may differ from that of Type III cells in posterior taste fields. Underlying anatomy to support this observation is, however, scant. Most existing immunohistochemical data characterizing this cell type focus on circumvallate taste buds in the posterior tongue. Equivalent data from anterior taste fields-fungiform papillae and soft palate-are lacking. Here, we compare Type III cells in four taste fields: fungiform, soft palate, circumvallate, and foliate in terms of reactivity to four canonical markers of Type III cells: Polycystic Kidney Disease 2-Like 1 (PKD2L1), Synaptosomal associated protein 25 (SNAP25), serotonin (5-HT), and glutamate decarboxylase 67 (GAD67). Our findings indicate that while PKD2L1, 5-HT, and SNAP25 are highly coincident in posterior taste fields, they diverge in anterior taste fields. In particular, a subset of taste cells expresses PKD2L1 without the synaptic markers and a subset of SNAP25 cells lacks expression of PKD2L1. In posterior taste fields, GAD67 positive cells are a subset of PKD2L1 expressing taste cells, but anterior taste fields also contain a significant population of GAD67-only expressing cells. These differences in expression patterns may underlie the observed functional differences between anterior and posterior taste fields.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Chemical senses
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