• Roper, Stephen D (PI)
  • Jafek, Bruce (PI)
  • Finger, Thomas (PI)
  • Kinnamon, S.U.E. (PI)
  • Moran, David (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This proposal requests funds for the continuation of the Rocky
Mountain Smell and Taste Center. Research under the auspices of
this center has and will continue to concentrate on cellular level
analysis of chemosensory receptor structure and function in
humans as well as in model animal systems. The Center consists
of the personnel and laboratories of six principal investigators
located at the University of Colorado and at Colorado State
University. During the proposed grant period emphasis will be
placed on correlated structure-function analysis of the olfactory
and gustatory receptors and primary sensory neurons at the
cellular and tissue levels. The structure and physiology of taste
receptors will be analyzed in a variety of preparations. Biopsy
material from human ageusics will be analyzed to determine
whether a correlation can be made between specific
morphological changes and specific ageusic conditions. Basic
science studies on gustation include cellular and tissue level
analyses of ion flux during taste transduction, possible
ultrastructural changes during taste stimulation, and the
relationships between taste bud cells and the primary gustatory
nerve fibers upon which the receptor cells synapse. In addition,
the possible functional role of neuropeptides in taste transduction
will be examined. Finally the ultra structure and degree of
plasticity of central terminations of the gustatory nerves will be
examined. Studies on the olfactory system include ultrastructural
studies relating olfactory receptor pathology to specific anosmic
states associated with various conditions such as Alzheimer's
disease, postviral anosmia, and cocaine use. The possible role of
respiratory tree microvillar cells in chemosensation also will be
examined. In addition, the synaptic and maturation-dependent
ultrastructure of olfactory neurons will be examined. These
studies all rely heavily on advanced ultrastructural,
electrophysiological, and immunochemical techniques already
mastered by the participating principal investigators. The good
working relationships between the investigators, research projects
and facilities is a major, vital element of the Program Project.
Effective start/end date4/1/843/31/93


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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