Yoshie, Sumio The Nippon Dental University
Type III cells in taste buds form chemical synapses with intragemmal afferent nerve fibers and are characterized by the presence of membrane-bound vesicles in the cytoplasm. Although the vesicles differ in shape and size among species, they are primarily categorized into small clear (40 nm in diameter) and large dense-cored (90-200 nm) types. As such vesicles tend to be closely juxtaposed to the synaptic membrane of the cells, it is reasonable to consider that the vesicles include transmitter(s) towards the gustatory nerve. In the guinea-pig taste bud, stimulation with various taste substances (sucrose, sodium chloride, quinine hydrochloride, or monosodium L-glutamate) causes ultrastructural alterations of the type III cells. At the synapse, the presynaptic plasma membrane often displays invaginations of 90 nm in a mean diameter towards the cytoplasm, which indicates the dense-cored vesicles opening into the synaptic cleft by means of exocytosis. The vesicles are also exocytosed at the non-synaptic region into the intercellular space. These findings strongly suggest that the transmitters presumably contained in the vesicles are released to conduct the excitement of the type III cells to the nerves and also to exert their paracrine effects upon the surroundings, such as the Ebner’s salivary gland, acting as local hormones.
The Journal of Medical Investigation
Faculty of Medicine Tokushima University
jmi_56_suppl_205.pdf 51.7 KB