The mammalian peripheral taste system undergoes functional changes during postnatal development. These changes could reflect age-dependent alterations in the membrane properties of taste cells, which use a vast array of ion channels for transduction mechanisms. Yet, scarce information is available on the membrane events in developing taste cells. We have addressed this issue by studying voltage-dependent Na+, K+, and Cl- currents (I-Na, I-K, and I-Cl, respectively) in a subset of taste cells (the so-called Na/OUT cells, which are electrically excitable and thought to be sensory) from mouse vallate papilla. Voltage-dependent currents play a key role during taste transduction, especially in the generation of action potentials. Patch-clamp recordings revealed that I-Na, I-K, and I-Cl were expressed early in postnatal development. However, only I-K and I-Cl densities increased significantly in developing Na/OUT cells. Consistent with the rise of I-K density, we found that action potential waveform changed markedly, with an increased speed of repolarization that was accompanied by an enhanced capability of repetitive firing. In addition to membrane excitability changes in putative sensory cells, we observed a concomitant increase in the occurrence of glia-like taste cells (the so called leaky cells) among patched cells. Leaky cells are likely involved in dissipating the increase of extracellular K+ during action potential discharge in chemosensory cells. Thus, developing taste cells of the mouse vallate papilla undergo a significant electrophysiological maturation and diversification. These functional changes may have a profound impact on the transduction capabilities of taste buds during development.
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|Anno di pubblicazione:||2002|
|Titolo:||Postnatal development of membrane excitability in taste cells of the mouse vallate papilla|
|Autori:||A. Bigiani; R. Cristiani; F. Fieni; V. Ghiaroni; P. Bagnoli; P. Pietra|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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