Intravital microscopic interrogation of peripheral taste sensation

Myunghwan Choi, Woei Ming Lee, Seok Hyun Yun*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Intravital microscopy is a powerful tool in neuroscience but has not been adapted to the taste sensory organ due to anatomical constraint. Here we developed an imaging window to facilitate microscopic access to the murine tongue in vivo. Real-time two-photon microscopy allowed the visualization of three-dimensional microanatomy of the intact tongue mucosa and functional activity of taste cells in response to topically administered tastants in live mice. Video microscopy also showed the calcium activity of taste cells elicited by small-sized tastants in the blood circulation. Molecular kinetic analysis suggested that intravascular taste sensation takes place at the microvilli on the apical side of taste cells after diffusion of the molecules through the pericellular capillaries and tight junctions in the taste bud. Our results demonstrate the capabilities and utilities of the new tool for taste research in vivo.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8661
    JournalScientific Reports
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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