It has been known for more than a century that, in adult vertebrates, the maintenance of taste buds depends on their afferent nerves. However, the initial formation of taste buds is proposed to be nerve-independent in amphibians, and evidence to the contrary in mammals has been endlessly debated, mostly due to indirect and incomplete means to impede innervation during the protracted perinatal period of taste bud differentiation. Here, by genetically ablating, in mice, all somatic (i.e. touch) or visceral (i.e. taste) neurons for the oral cavity, we show that the latter but not the former are absolutely required for the proper formation of their target organs, the taste buds.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)