Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




To determine the effects of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on taste cell generation by utilizing a long-term rat taste cell culture that exhibits molecular and functional characteristics of mature taste cells. The role of neurotrophic factors in taste cell development is not well understood. Materials and methods: A long-term rat taste cell culture exhibiting molecular and functional characteristics of mature taste cells was used. The effects of 3 different concentrations of EGF and BDNF on taste cell differentiation and proliferation were examined at 3 different time points. Results: We showed the presence of BDNF, EGF receptor, and Trk-B immunoreactivity in subsets of cultured taste cells in vitro. EGF at 10 ng/mL increased the proliferation rate of cultured rat taste cells in 1- and 2-week-old cells. No treatment altered the proliferation rate at 4 weeks. Staining with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and gustducin antibodies demonstrated differentiation in a subset of taste cells, indicating that a 10-ng concentration each of EGF and BDNF increased BrdU and gustducin immunoreactive cell numbers at 1 and 2 weeks. Conclusion: Our data suggest that EGF and BDNF induced not only taste cell proliferation but also differentiation without requiring nerve innervation.


EGF, BDNF, taste cell, culture, proliferation, differentiation

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