Distribution of α-Gustducin and Vimentin in premature and mature taste buds in chickens

Nandakumar Venkatesan, Prasangi Rajapaksha, Jason Payne, Forrest Goodfellow, Zhonghou Wang, Fuminori Kawabata, Shoji Tabata, Steven Stice, Robert Beckstead, Hong Xiang Liu

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The sensory organs for taste in chickens (Gallus sp.) are taste buds in the oral epithelium of the palate, base of the oral cavity, and posterior tongue. Although there is not a pan-taste cell marker that labels all chicken taste bud cells, α-Gustducin and Vimentin each label a subpopulation of taste bud cells. In the present study, we used both α-Gustducin and Vimentin to further characterize chicken taste buds at the embryonic and post-hatching stages (E17-P5). We found that both α-Gustducin and Vimentin label distinct and overlapping populations of, but not all, taste bud cells. A-Gustducin immunosignals were observed as early as E18 and were consistently distributed in early and mature taste buds in embryos and hatchlings. Vimentin immunoreactivity was initially sparse at the embryonic stages then became apparent in taste buds after hatch. In hatchlings, α-Gustducin and Vimentin immunosignals largely co-localized in taste buds. A small subset of taste bud cells were labeled by either α-Gustducin or Vimentin or were not labeled. Importantly, each of the markers was observed in all of the examined taste buds. Our data suggest that the early onset of α-Gustducin in taste buds might be important for enabling chickens to respond to taste stimuli immediately after hatch and that distinctive population of taste bud cells that are labeled by different molecular markers might represent different cell types or different phases of taste bud cells. Additionally, α-Gustducin and Vimentin can potentially be used as molecular markers of all chicken taste buds in whole mount tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 14 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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