The role of pannexin 1 hemichannels in ATP release and cell-cell communication in mouse taste buds

Yi-Jen Huang, Yutaka Maruyama, Gennady Dvoryanchikov, Elizabeth Pereira, Nirupa Chaudhari, Stephen D Roper
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2007 April 10, 104 (15): 6436-41
ATP has been shown to be a taste bud afferent transmitter, but the cells responsible for, and the mechanism of, its release have not been identified. Using CHO cells expressing high-affinity neurotransmitter receptors as biosensors, we show that gustatory stimuli cause receptor cells to secrete ATP through pannexin 1 hemichannels in mouse taste buds. ATP further stimulates other taste cells to release a second transmitter, serotonin. These results provide a mechanism to link intracellular Ca(2+) release during taste transduction to secretion of afferent transmitter, ATP, from receptor cells. They also indicate a route for cell-cell communication and signal processing within the taste bud.

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