Separate populations of receptor cells and presynaptic cells in mouse taste buds

Richard A DeFazio, Gennady Dvoryanchikov, Yutaka Maruyama, Joung Woul Kim, Elizabeth Pereira, Stephen D Roper, Nirupa Chaudhari
Journal of Neuroscience 2006 April 12, 26 (15): 3971-80
Taste buds are aggregates of 50-100 cells, only a fraction of which express genes for taste receptors and intracellular signaling proteins. We combined functional calcium imaging with single-cell molecular profiling to demonstrate the existence of two distinct cell types in mouse taste buds. Calcium imaging revealed that isolated taste cells responded with a transient elevation of cytoplasmic Ca2+ to either tastants or depolarization with KCl, but never both. Using single-cell reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, we show that individual taste cells express either phospholipase C beta2 (PLCbeta2) (an essential taste transduction effector) or synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP25) (a key component of calcium-triggered transmitter exocytosis). The two functional classes revealed by calcium imaging mapped onto the two gene expression classes determined by single-cell RT-PCR. Specifically, cells responding to tastants expressed PLCbeta2, whereas cells responding to KCl depolarization expressed SNAP25. We demonstrate this by two methods: first, through sequential calcium imaging and single-cell RT-PCR; second, by performing calcium imaging on taste buds in slices from transgenic mice in which PLCbeta2-expressing taste cells are labeled with green fluorescent protein. To evaluate the significance of the SNAP25-expressing cells, we used RNA amplification from single cells, followed by RT-PCR. We show that SNAP25-positive cells also express typical presynaptic proteins, including a voltage-gated calcium channel (alpha1A), neural cell adhesion molecule, synapsin-II, and the neurotransmitter-synthesizing enzymes glutamic acid decarboxylase and aromatic amino acid decarboxylase. No synaptic markers were detected in PLCbeta2 cells by either amplified RNA profiling or by immunocytochemistry. These data demonstrate the existence of at least two molecularly distinct functional classes of taste cells: receptor cells and synapse-forming cells.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"