TRP channels at the periphery of the taste and trigeminal systems

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© 2018 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. The mammalian taste system consists of taste buds, which are groups of 50-100 taste cells that are found throughout the oral cavity. On the tongue, which is the focus of this chapter, taste buds are located on circumvallate, foliate, and fungiform papillae (Figure 7.1a). Taste cells synapse with afferent bers from branches of the facial (CN VII), glossopharyngeal (CN IX), and vagus (CN X) cranial nerves (Figure 7.1b) that, in turn, transmit information to the central nervous system (CNS) attributes of tastant quality, intensity, and hedonic nature (Gutierrez and Simon, 2011; Carleton et al., 2010; Vincis and Fontanini, 2016). The list includes several classes of chemical stimuli such as sugars, salts, acids, proteins, and organic compounds that are perceived as bitter tasting (Simon et al., 2006). Taste buds are embedded in a stratied squamous epithelium, which contains somatosensory branches of the trigeminal (CN V), glossopharyngeal (CN IX), and vagus (CN X) cranial nerves. The terminals of these somatosensory bers often surround taste buds (Figures 7.1b and 7.4), indicating the close association of the taste and somatosensory systems. Information from these general sensory nerves provides information to the CNS about mechanical, thermal, and painful stimuli (Julius, 2013; Kaneko and Szallasi, 2014). The painful stimuli can arise from strong or sharp mechanical stimuli, abnormally high or low temperatures, or chemical stimuli such as capsaicin, which is found in chili peppers and causes a burning taste sensation. As both the peripheral taste and somatosensory systems contain transient receptor potential (TRPs) (Ramsey et al., 2006; Julius, 2013), here we will initially review general properties of TRPs, and then describe their roles in the peripheral taste and somatosensory systems. We do not, however, discuss their presence in keratinocytes, but refer the reader to Chapter 5. Finally, for additional details regarding their roles in taste and as condiments used for cooking, we refer the reader to several excellent reviews on this topic (Vriens et al., 2008; Roper, 2013; Talavera, 2015; Roper, 2014).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Simon, SA; Gutierrez, R

Published Date

  • January 1, 2017

Book Title

  • Neurobiology of TRP Channels

Start / End Page

  • 113 - 124

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781498755245

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4324/9781315152837

Citation Source

  • Scopus