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Tongue, taste buds

Image courtesy of Anthony Huang


Taste bud functioning remains a topic for research. This diagram illustrates four cell types within a single taste bud, as distinguished by ultrastructural features, patterns of gene expression, and functions. Types I, II, and III taste cells are also classified as:

Glial-like cells (type I, gray in diagram).
Receptor cells (type II, yellow in diagram, associated with nerve endings but without classically-recognizable synapses).
Presynaptic cells (type III, blue in diagram).

Colored pink in the diagram are basal cells (B).

Green color indicates nerve fibers.

Non-sensory cells of the tongue's stratified squamous epithelium (E) are not colored in this diagram.

For more on tastebuds, see Chaudhari & Roper (2010) Journal of Cell Biology 190:285-296, doi: 10.1083/jcb.201003144

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SIUC / School of Medicine / Anatomy / David King
Last updated:  31 August 2021 / dgk