Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Natual Science and Mathematics

First Advisor

John C. Kinnamon, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joseph Angleson

Third Advisor

Nancy Lorenzon

Fourth Advisor

Judith Snyder

Fifth Advisor

Dwight Smith


Connexin-32, Connexin-43, Electron microscopy, Gap junction, Immunocytochemistry, Taste


Studies indicate that ATP is one of the primary neurotransmitters in taste transduction. ATP release occurs from taste cells via specific hemichannels such as pannexin/connexin hemichannels (Huang et al., 2007; Romanov et al., 2007). We hypothesize that Type II (receptor) and possibly Type III (presynaptic) cells release ATP at sites containing pannexin/connexin hemichannels. In this study, we examine the presence of connexin–32–LIR (Like Immunoreactivity) and connexin–43–LIR in rodent taste buds through immunocytochemical analysis and DAB (Di–amino–benzidine) immunoelectron microscopy. We observed that connexin–32–LIR co–localizes with P2X2–LIR in nerve fibers and in a small subset of NCAM–LIR cells. Connexin–32–LIR does not co–localize with α–gustducin–LIR or PLCβ2–LIR. We observed that connexin–43–LIR is present in a subset of PLCβ2–LIR cells and in a subset of α–gustducin–LIR cells. Connexin–43–LIR does not co–localize with NCAM–LIR cells or P2X2–LIR nerve fibers. These results are consistent with our results observed using DAB immunoelectron microscopy. Thus, our results indicate that both connexin–32 is expressed in Type III cells and nerve fibers and connexin–43 is expressed in Type II cells in rodent circumvallate taste buds.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Amanda E. Bond


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

136 p.


Neurosciences, Biology