Presentation Title

Taste Receptor Cell Counts Following Oral Capsaicin Desensitization

Advisor Information

Suzanne Sollars

Location

UNO Criss Library, Room 231

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

7-3-2014 11:45 AM

End Date

7-3-2014 12:00 PM

Abstract

Behavioral research in humans regarding taste suppression in individuals whom frequently consume capsaicin (the chemical compound that gives chili peppers their characteristic spicy heat) has produced variable results. The exact mechanism behind such potential suppression is unclear, but may be due to an integrated relationship in which the capsaicin-sensitive trigeminal system supports taste structures. In an effort to clarify these findings, the present work focused on whether increased tolerance to capsaicin was accompanied by a reduction in taste receptor cells. To do so, an animal model of chronic capsaicin consumption was created to allow for an in-depth immunohistochemical examination of tongue tissue following chronic capsaicin desensitization. When initially exposed to capsaicin, Sprague-Dawley rats reject concentrations above 5ppm. Following an incremental increase in concentration exposure (daily, hour-long exposure, increased by 5ppm every three days) adult animals willingly consume up to 25ppm over the course of two weeks. Two days after treatment cessation animals were sacrificed and tongue tissue was sectioned and stained with immunoflorescent CK-19, which allows for the visualization of taste receptor cells within taste buds. Ongoing investigations aim to quantify differences in taste receptor cells counts between animals treated with a capsaicin or control solution. Capsaicin tolerance achieved without corresponding loss of taste receptor cells would suggest that the behavioral adaptation to spice is independent of the taste system. In contrast, reductions in taste receptor cell counts following exposure would support capsaicin-related taste suppression and provide evidence of the mechanism behind this phenomenon.

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Mar 7th, 11:45 AM Mar 7th, 12:00 PM

Taste Receptor Cell Counts Following Oral Capsaicin Desensitization

UNO Criss Library, Room 231

Behavioral research in humans regarding taste suppression in individuals whom frequently consume capsaicin (the chemical compound that gives chili peppers their characteristic spicy heat) has produced variable results. The exact mechanism behind such potential suppression is unclear, but may be due to an integrated relationship in which the capsaicin-sensitive trigeminal system supports taste structures. In an effort to clarify these findings, the present work focused on whether increased tolerance to capsaicin was accompanied by a reduction in taste receptor cells. To do so, an animal model of chronic capsaicin consumption was created to allow for an in-depth immunohistochemical examination of tongue tissue following chronic capsaicin desensitization. When initially exposed to capsaicin, Sprague-Dawley rats reject concentrations above 5ppm. Following an incremental increase in concentration exposure (daily, hour-long exposure, increased by 5ppm every three days) adult animals willingly consume up to 25ppm over the course of two weeks. Two days after treatment cessation animals were sacrificed and tongue tissue was sectioned and stained with immunoflorescent CK-19, which allows for the visualization of taste receptor cells within taste buds. Ongoing investigations aim to quantify differences in taste receptor cells counts between animals treated with a capsaicin or control solution. Capsaicin tolerance achieved without corresponding loss of taste receptor cells would suggest that the behavioral adaptation to spice is independent of the taste system. In contrast, reductions in taste receptor cell counts following exposure would support capsaicin-related taste suppression and provide evidence of the mechanism behind this phenomenon.