Transcellular and paracellular pathways in lingual epithelia and their influence in taste transduction.
The lingual epithelium is innervated by special sensory (taste) and general sensory (trigeminal) nerves that transmit information about chemical stimuli introduced into the mouth to the higher brain centers. Understanding the cellular mechanisms involved in eliciting responses from these nerves requires a detailed understanding of the contributions of both the paracellular and transcellular pathways. In this paper we focus on the contribution of these 2 pathways to the responses of salts containing sodium and various organic anions in the presence and absence of amiloride. Electrophysiological recordings from trigeminal nerves, chorda tympani nerves, and isolated lingual epithelia were combined with morphological studies investigating the location (and permeability) of tight junctions, the localization of amiloride-inhibitable channels, and Na-K-ATPase in taste and epithelial cells. Based on these measurements, we conclude that diffusion across tight junctions can modulate chorda tympani and trigeminal responses to sodium-containing salts and rationalize the enhancement of taste responses to saccharides by NaCl.
Simon, SA; Holland, VF; Benos, DJ; Zampighi, GA
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