Taste cells with synapses in rat circumvallate papillae display SNAP-25-like immunoreactivity

J Comp Neurol. 2000 Aug 21;424(2):205-15. doi: 10.1002/1096-9861(20000821)424:2<205::aid-cne2>3.0.co;2-f.


SNAP-25 is a 25 kDa protein believed to be involved in the processes of membrane fusion and exocytosis associated with neurotransmitter release. In the present study we present evidence that SNAP-25-like immunoreactivity can be used as a marker for taste cells with synapses in rat circumvallate papillae. SNAP-25 immunoreactivity is present in most intragemmal nerve processes and a small subset of taste cells. Intense immunoreactivity is associated with the nerve plexus located below the base of the taste bud. Of a total of 87 taste cells with synapses onto nerve processes, 80 of the presynaptic taste cells had SNAP-25 immunoreactivity. The association of SNAP-25 immunoreactivity with taste cells possessing synapses suggests that these cells may be gustatory receptor cells. Because this SNAP-25 antibody can label taste cells with synapses, it may also serve as a useful tool for future studies correlating structure with function in the taste bud.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism
  • Neurons, Afferent / ultrastructure*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Synapses / metabolism
  • Synapses / ultrastructure*
  • Synaptosomal-Associated Protein 25
  • Taste Buds / metabolism
  • Taste Buds / ultrastructure*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Snap25 protein, rat
  • Synaptosomal-Associated Protein 25