• cattle;
  • circumvallate papilla;
  • taste bud cell;
  • transmission electron microscopy;
  • immunocytochemistry;
  • α-gustducin


The taste buds of bovine circumvallate papillae were investigated under light and electron microscopy both by histological and immunohistochemical methods. Taste buds existed in the inner epithelium of the trench of the papillae. Under electron microscopy, two types of taste cells, type I and type II, could be classified according to the existence of dense-cored vesicles and cytoplasmic density. Type I had electron-lucent cytoplasm and possessed many electron-dense cored vesicles in the apical cytoplasm. It was considered that the electron-dense materials of the vesicles were released and constituted the pore substance. This type of cell possessed long and thick apical processes in the taste pore. Type II had denser electron cytoplasm compared with that of type I and possessed many electron-lucent vesicles in the apical cytoplasm. This type of cell possessed microvilli in the taste pore. To know the immunoreactivity to α-gustducin in bovine circumvallate taste buds, we used the immunoblotting method and the immunohistochemical method. The α-gustducin reaction band at 40 kDa was displayed in the specimen of Western blots. The immunohistochemical property of the antiserum to α-gustducin was investigated by using the avidin-biotin complex (ABC) method and the 1.4-nm gold and silver enhancement methods. A subset of taste cells showed the immunoreactivity under light microscopy. The electron microscopic specimens with the 1.4-nm gold and silver enhancement method revealed that only type II cells exhibited the α-gustducin immunoreactivity. Anat Rec Part A 271A:217–224, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.