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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Taste buds and nerve fibers in the rat larynx: an ultrastructural and immunohistochemical study.

We investigated the rat laryngeal taste buds and their innervation by electron microscopy and immunohistochemical methods. Taste buds were densely arranged in the surface facing the laryngeal cavity of the epiglottis, the aryepiglottic fold, and the cuneiform process of the arytenoid cartilages. The cells of the buds were classified into types I, II, III, and basal cells, the ultrastucture of which was almost the same as that previously reported in lingual taste buds. The type III cells that had synaptic contacts with nerve fibers were considered to be sensory cells. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed thick calbindin D28k-immunoreactive fibers and thin varicose fibers immunoreactive for calcitonin gene-related peptide or substance P in and around the taste bud. Serotonin-immunoreactive cells were also observed here. The results revealed the innervation pattern of laryngeal taste buds to be the same as that in lingual taste buds. Carbonic anhydrase (CA) is known to catalyze the hydration of CO2 and dehydration of H2CO3, and seems to be essential in CO2 reception. Immunoreactivity for CAI was detected in slender cells and that for CAIII was observed in barrel-like cells in the laryngeal taste buds. The pH-sensitive inward rectifier K+ (Kir) channel in the cell membrane may be involved in CO2 reception as well. CAII-reactive cells were also reactive to Kir4.1, PGP 9.5 and serotonin. Our results indicated that CAII and Kir4.1 are located in type III cells of the laryngeal taste buds, and supported the idea that the buds may be involved in the recognition of CO2.[1]


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