Several transmitter candidates including serotonin (5-HT), ATP, and norepinephrine (NE) have been identified in taste buds. Recently, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as well as the associated synthetic enzymes and receptors have also been identified in taste cells. GABA reduces taste-evoked ATP secretion from Receptor cells and is considered to be an inhibitory transmitter in taste buds. However, to date, the identity of GABAergic taste cells and the specific stimulus for GABA release are not well understood. In the present study, we used genetically-engineered Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells stably co-expressing GABA B receptors and Gαqo5 proteins to measure GABA release from isolated taste buds. We recorded robust responses from GABA biosensors when they were positioned against taste buds isolated from mouse circumvallate papillae and the buds were depolarized with KCl or a stimulated with an acid (sour) taste. In contrast, a mixture of sweet and bitter taste stimuli did not trigger GABA release. KCl- or acid-evoked GABA secretion from taste buds was Ca 2+-dependent; removing Ca 2+ from the bathing medium eliminated GABA secretion. Finally, we isolated individual taste cells to identify the origin of GABA secretion. GABA was released only from Presynaptic (Type III) cells and not from Receptor (Type II) cells. Previously, we reported that 5-HT released from Presynaptic cells inhibits taste-evoked ATP secretion. Combined with the recent findings that GABA depresses taste-evoked ATP secretion <xref ref-type="bibr" rid="pone.0025471-Dvoryanchikov1"></xref>, the present results indicate that GABA and 5-HT are inhibitory transmitters in mouse taste buds and both likely play an important role in modulating taste responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)