Brain-derived neurotrophic factor-, neurotrophin-3-, and tyrosine kinase receptor-like immunoreactivity in lingual taste bud fields of mature hamster

Donald Ganchrow, Judith R. Ganchrow, Mary Verdin-Alcazar, Mark C. Whitehead*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The neurotrophins brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), as well as their respective tyrosine kinase (Trk) receptors, TrkB and TrkC, influence peripheral target cell innervation, survival, and proliferation. In the mature taste system the role of neurotrophins and their receptors is not known. The mature hamster is an intriguing model because anterior lingual fungiform, unlike posterior lingual foliate and circumvallate, taste buds survive denervation. In light of this difference, we examined whether the degree of neurotrophinor neurotrophin receptor-like immunoreactivity (IR) normally differs among lingual gemmal fields. In single- and double-labeled immunofluorescent experiments, 3,209 taste bud sections (profiles) from 13 hamsters were examined for immunopositive gemmal cells or nerve fibers using antibodies to BDNF and NT-3, their respective receptors TrkB and TrkC, and the neural marker ubiquitin c-terminal hydrolase L-1 [protein gene product (PGP) 9.5]. In each gemmal field, more than 75% of taste bud profiles showed immunopositivity to BDNF, NT-3, and TrkB. Across bud fields, BDNF-, TrkB-, and BDNF/TrkB-like IR, as well as PGP 9.5 and PGP 9.5/BDNF-like IR in centrally located, fungiform bud cells was greater (P < 0.0001 to P < 0.002) than in circumvallate or foliate buds. Within bud fields, the number of BDNF-like, labeled bud cells/bud profile was greater than that for NT-3-like IR in fungiform (P < 0.0002) and foliate (P < 0.0001) buds. TrkC was immunonegative in gemmal cells. The average density of TrkB- and TrkC-like fiber IR was more pronounced in fungiform than posterior gemmal-bearing papillae. Thus, fungiform papillae, whose taste buds are least affected by denervation, exhibit specific neurotrophin and receptor enrichment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-24
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Volume455
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003

Keywords

  • Gemmal
  • Gustation
  • Immunofluorescence
  • Neurotrophin receptors
  • Neurotrophins
  • Rodent

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