A large increase of sour taste receptor cells in Skn-1-deficient mice does not alter the number of their sour taste signal-transmitting gustatory neurons

Neurosci Lett. 2017 May 1;648:53-58. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2017.03.046. Epub 2017 Mar 28.


The connections between taste receptor cells (TRCs) and innervating gustatory neurons are formed in a mutually dependent manner during development. To investigate whether a change in the ratio of cell types that compose taste buds influences the number of innervating gustatory neurons, we analyzed the proportion of gustatory neurons that transmit sour taste signals in adult Skn-1a-/- mice in which the number of sour TRCs is greatly increased. We generated polycystic kidney disease 1 like 3-wheat germ agglutinin (pkd1l3-WGA)/Skn-1a+/+ and pkd1l3-WGA/Skn-1a-/- mice by crossing Skn-1a-/- mice and pkd1l3-WGA transgenic mice, in which neural pathways of sour taste signals can be visualized. The number of WGA-positive cells in the circumvallate papillae is 3-fold higher in taste buds of pkd1l3-WGA/Skn-1a-/- mice relative to pkd1l3-WGA/Skn-1a+/+ mice. Intriguingly, the ratio of WGA-positive neurons to P2X2-expressing gustatory neurons in nodose/petrosal ganglia was similar between pkd1l3-WGA/Skn-1a+/+ and pkd1l3-WGA/Skn-1a-/- mice. In conclusion, an alteration in the ratio of cell types that compose taste buds does not influence the number of gustatory neurons that transmit sour taste signals.

Keywords: Nodose/petrosal ganglia; Skn-1a; Sour taste; Taste signaling; pkd1l3.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Octamer Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Octamer Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Taste Buds / cytology*
  • Taste Buds / metabolism
  • Taste*
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins / metabolism


  • Octamer Transcription Factors
  • Pou2f3 protein, mouse
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins