Navigation Links
Monell scientists identify elusive taste stem cells
Date:2/3/2013

PHILADELPHIA (February 4, 2013) Scientists at the Monell Center have identified the location and certain genetic characteristics of taste stem cells on the tongue. The findings will facilitate techniques to grow and manipulate new functional taste cells for both clinical and research purposes.

"Cancer patients who have taste loss following radiation to the head and neck and elderly individuals with diminished taste function are just two populations who could benefit from the ability to activate adult taste stem cells," said Robert Margolskee, M.D., Ph.D., a molecular neurobiologist at Monell who is one of the study's authors.

Taste cells are located in clusters called taste buds, which in turn are found in papillae, the raised bumps visible on the tongue's surface.

Two types of taste cells contain chemical receptors that initiate perception of sweet, bitter, umami, salty, and sour taste qualities. A third type appears to serve as a supporting cell.

A remarkable characteristic of these sensory cells is that they regularly regenerate. All three taste cell types undergo frequent turnover, with an average lifespan of 10-16 days. As such, new taste cells must constantly be regenerated to replace cells that have died.

For decades, taste scientists have attempted to identify the stem or progenitor cells that spawn the different taste receptor cells. The elusive challenge also sought to establish whether one or several progenitors are involved and where they are located, whether in or near the taste bud.

Drawing on the strong physiological relationship between oral taste cells and endocrine (hormone producing) cells in the intestine, the Monell team used a marker for intestinal stem cells to probe for stem cells in taste tissue on the tongue.

Stains for the stem cell marker, known as Lgr5 (leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 5), showed two patterns of expression in taste tissue. The first was a strong signal underlying taste papillae at the back of the tongue and the second was a weaker signal immediately underneath taste buds in those papillae.

The Monell scientists hypothesize that the two levels of expression could indicate two different populations of cells. The cells that more strongly express Lgr5 could be true taste stem cells, whereas those with weaker expression could represent those stem cells that have begun the transformation into functional taste cells.

Additional studies revealed that the Lgr5-expressing cells were capable of becoming any one of the three major taste cell types.

The findings are published online in the journal Stem Cells.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," said senior author Peihua Jiang, Ph.D., also a Monell molecular neurobiologist. "Identification of these cells opens up a whole new area for studying taste cell renewal, and contributes to stem cell biology in general."

Future studies will focus on identifying the factors that program the Lgr5-expressing cells to differentiate into the different taste cell types, and explore how to grow these cells in culture, thus providing a renewable source of taste receptor cells for research and perhaps even clinical use.


'/>"/>

Contact: Leslie Stein
stein@monell.org
267-519-4707
Monell Chemical Senses Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Pet Hedgehogs Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in 8 States
2. Salmonella Cause of Most Foodborne-Illness Outbreaks: CDC
3. Vaccination responsible for dramatic fall in Salmonella infections
4. Salmonella spreads by targeting cells in our gut, study shows
5. Health Officials Tracking Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Pet Turtles
6. FDA Cites Possible Source of Cantaloupe-Salmonella Outbreak
7. 33 Sickened by Salmonella Linked to Ground Beef: CDC
8. Ohio Mail-Order Hatchery Now Linked to Salmonella in 23 States
9. American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) Releases Nation's First Standard for Mitigating Radon (Radioactivity) in Multifamily Buildings
10. Scientists Find Clue to Aging Reversal in Mice
11. Leading researchers warn of brain drain as scientists struggle to find funding
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... A ... use of the HyProCure sinus tarsi implant. ( http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/banned-quebec-dentist-pierre-dupont-working-as-chiropodist-in-ottawa-1.3515494 ) The ... minimally invasive procedure performed, when indicated, to correct the partial displacement of ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... New York (PRWEB) , ... April 30, 2016 , ... ... Dobbs Ferry campus. The following programs will be expanding due to high demand: ... (HRM). The expansion will begin this summer. , School of Business ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... , announces the addition Onnit brand Alpha BRAIN and New Mood Daily-Stress Formula ... brain and mood optimization products to the store is just one more way ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Dr. Bernie Siegel, ... seller "LOVE, MEDICINE and MIRACLES") addresses touchy topics related to Death live on ... . Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of a plethora of essential books-to-read for ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... A new ... with severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia have better survival rates if surgery is performed ... (CDH)—a condition where the diaphragm fails to form completely, letting abdominal organs into ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016  The blood testing market in ... to Kalorama Information and The Freedonia Group in a ... acid testing.  The healthcare research firm said that ... blood collection stations and in improving testing at the ... report, Blood Testing Market in China ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 Dr. Vivek ... and Ste phen Schmidt ... a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for life sciences, today ... to bring a wealth of insight to a growing business.  This ... George Phillips joined ArisGlobal in the position ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016  ValGenesis, Inc., the market leader ... today announced that a prominent world provider ... chronic kidney failure has selected ValGenesis Validation ... validation process. The global medical device manufacturer ... manage their validation processes electronically. Upon completion ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: