Laboratory of, United States
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Shin Y.-K.,U.S. National Institute on Aging | Cong W.-N.,Laboratory of Clinical Investigation | Cai H.,Laboratory of Clinical Investigation | Kim W.,U.S. National Institute on Aging | And 3 more authors.
Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences | Year: 2012

Normal aging is a complex process that affects every organ system in the body, including the taste system. Thus, we investigated the effects of the normal aging process on taste bud morphology, function, and taste responsivity in male mice at 2, 10, and 18 months of age. The 18-month-old animals demonstrated a significant reduction in taste bud size and number of taste cells per bud compared with the 2-and 10-month-old animals. The 18-month-old animals exhibited a significant reduction of protein gene product 9.5 and sonic hedgehog immunoreactivity (taste cell markers). The number of taste cells expressing the sweet taste receptor subunit, T1R3, and the sweet taste modulating hormone, glucagon-like peptide-1, were reduced in the 18-month-old mice. Concordant with taste cell alterations, the 18-month-old animals demonstrated reduced sweet taste responsivity compared with the younger animals and the other major taste modalities (salty, sour, and bitter) remained intact. © 2011 The Author.

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