JOURNAL ARTICLE

Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Reduces Taste-Evoked ATP Secretion from Mouse Taste Buds

Anthony Y Huang, Sandy Y Wu
Journal of Neuroscience 2015 September 16, 35 (37): 12714-24
26377461

UNLABELLED: Immunoelectron microscopy revealed that peripheral afferent nerve fibers innervating taste buds contain calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which may be as an efferent transmitter released from peripheral axon terminals. In this report, we determined the targets of CGRP within taste buds and studied what effect CGRP exerts on taste bud function. We isolated mouse taste buds and taste cells, conducted functional imaging using Fura-2, and used cellular biosensors to monitor taste-evoked transmitter release. The findings showed that a subset of Presynaptic (Type III) taste cells (53%) responded to 0.1 μm CGRP with an increase in intracellular Ca(2+). In contrast, Receptor (Type II) taste cells rarely (4%) responded to 0.1 μm CGRP. Using pharmacological tools, the actions of CGRP were probed and elucidated by the CGRP receptor antagonist CGRP(8-37). We demonstrated that this effect of CGRP was dependent on phospholipase C activation and was prevented by the inhibitor U73122. Moreover, applying CGRP caused taste buds to secrete serotonin (5-HT), a Presynaptic (Type III) cell transmitter, but not ATP, a Receptor (Type II) cell transmitter. Further, our previous studies showed that 5-HT released from Presynaptic (Type III) cells provides negative paracrine feedback onto Receptor (Type II) cells by activating 5-HT1A receptors, and reducing ATP secretion. Our data showed that CGRP-evoked 5-HT release reduced taste-evoked ATP secretion. The findings are consistent with a role for CGRP as an inhibitory transmitter that shapes peripheral taste signals via serotonergic signaling during processing gustatory information in taste buds.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The taste sensation is initiated with a highly complex set of interactions between a variety of cells located within the taste buds before signal propagation to the brain. Afferent signals from the oral cavity are carried to the brain in chemosensory fibers that contribute to chemesthesis, the general chemical sensitivity of the mucus membranes in the oronasal cavities and being perceived as pungency, irritation, or heat. This is a study of a fundamental question in neurobiology: how are signals processed in sensory end organs, taste buds? More specifically, taste-modifying interactions, via transmitters, between gustatory and chemosensory afferents inside taste buds will help explain how a coherent output is formed before being transmitted to the brain.

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