Physiology of Taste (Special Sense)

December 21, 2012 | By | Reply More

Physiology of Taste (Special Sense)

Taste Bud

Taste buds on tongue on fungiform papillae (“mushroom-like projections)
Each taste bud consists of 50-100 specialized epithelial cells.
Epithelial cell receptors clustered in barrel-shaped taste buds.
Taste cells are not neurons, but depolarize upon stimulation and if reach threshold, release NT that stimulate sensory neurons.
Each “bud” contains several cell types in microvilli that project through pore and chemically sense food.
Gustatory receptor cells communicate with cranial nerve axon endings to transmit sensation to brain.


Five taste sensations

•Sweet—front middle
•Sour—middle sides
•Salty—front side/tip
•Bitter —back
•“umami”—posterior pharynx


Cranial Nerves of Taste

Anterior 2/3 tongue:  VII (Facial)

Posterior 1/3 tongue: IX Glossopharyngeal)

Pharynx:             X (Vagus)


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Category: Medical, Pathology

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