Taste buds as peripheral chemosensory processors

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

90 Scopus citations

Abstract

Taste buds are peripheral chemosensory organs situated in the oral cavity. Each taste bud consists of a community of 50-100. cells that interact synaptically during gustatory stimulation. At least three distinct cell types are found in mammalian taste buds - Type I cells, Receptor (Type II) cells, and Presynaptic (Type III) cells. Type I cells appear to be glial-like cells. Receptor cells express G protein-coupled taste receptors for sweet, bitter, or umami compounds. Presynaptic cells transduce acid stimuli (sour taste). Cells that sense salt (NaCl) taste have not yet been confidently identified in terms of these cell types. During gustatory stimulation, taste bud cells secrete synaptic, autocrine, and paracrine transmitters. These transmitters include ATP, acetylcholine (ACh), serotonin (5-HT), norepinephrine (NE), and GABA. Glutamate is an efferent transmitter that stimulates Presynaptic cells to release 5-HT. This chapter discusses these transmitters, which cells release them, the postsynaptic targets for the transmitters, and how cell-cell communication shapes taste bud signaling via these transmitters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013

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Keywords

  • ATP
  • Autocrine/paracrine/efferent transmitters
  • Pannexin-1
  • Presynaptic (Type III) cell
  • Receptor (Type II) cell
  • Type I cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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