Distinct expression pattern of insulin-like growth factor family in rodent taste buds

Yuko Suzuki, Masako Takeda, Yasunori Sakakura, Noriyo Suzuki
Journal of Comparative Neurology 2005 January 31, 482 (1): 74-84
The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system is an important regulator of growth and differentiation in a variety of tissues. In the present study, the expression of IGF family members in the taste buds of mice and rats was examined. By reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis, mRNA of IGF-I and -II, IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR), insulin receptor (insulin R), and IGF-binding protein (IGFBP)-2, -3, -4, -5, and -6 was detected in the taste bud-containing epithelium of the circumvallate papillae of mice. As suggested by the study using degenerate PCR (McLaughlin [2000] J. Neurosci. 20:5679-5688), IGF-IR was expressed in most of the taste bud cells of adult mice, as found by immunohistochemistry, and in those of postnatal day (P) 6 mice by in situ hybridization. Insulin R, which has strong homology to IGF-IR, was also detected in most of the taste bud cells of mice by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. IGF-I immunoreactivity was detected in a few taste bud cells and in the epithelium surrounding taste buds. Northern blot analysis revealed that the amount of IGF-I mRNA in taste bud-containing epithelium was very low compared with that in liver. IGF-II immunoreactivity was weakly detected in mouse taste buds and the surrounding epithelium. In the rat tissue, a subset of the taste bud cells was positive for IGF-II. Among the six IGFBPs, IGFBP-2, -5, and -6 were detected in the mouse taste buds: IGFBP-2 and -5 immunoreactivity was seen in the majority of the taste bud cells, whereas IGFBP-6 immunoreactivity was found in the nerve fibers innervating the taste buds. In situ hybridization study also revealed that IGFBP-2 and -5 mRNA was synthesized in the taste buds of P6 mice and that the expression of these mRNAs overlapped in von Ebner's glands. These data reveal that IGF-I and -II might be produced in taste bud cells and (or) surrounding lingual epithelium and act through IGF-IR and insulin R locally in a paracrine and autocrine manner. The activity of these IGFs may be modulated through their interaction with IGFBP-2, -5, and 6.

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