SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammatory Cytokine Expression in Taste Organoids
Shan Feng1,2, Leyitha Achoute1,3, Robert F. Margolskee1, Peihua Jiang1, Hong Wang1
1Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA, United States
2Southwest University, Chongqing, China
3Lincoln University, Lincoln University, PA, United States

Inflammatory cytokines are important regulators of metabolism and food intake. Expression of certain cytokines can be markedly induced in subsets of taste receptor cells under acute and chronic inflammatory conditions. This may contribute to the altered taste perception and preference associated with many diseases. Although the molecular mechanisms of cytokine induction are well characterized in immune cells, they remain poorly understood in taste bud cells, in part due to the difficulties of performing biochemical analyses with a limited number of taste cells. The recently developed taste organoid model provides an opportunity to carry out these mechanistic studies in vitro. However, it was unknown whether taste organoids respond to inflammatory stimuli as do in vivo native taste cells. Here we analyzed inflammatory cytokine induction in taste organoids and in mouse taste tissues. We treated organoids and mice with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a bacterial cell wall component that induces robust inflammatory responses. Our results show that, similarly to native mouse taste cells, taste organoids responded strongly to LPS by quickly upregulating expression of many genes, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). The levels of TNF mRNA and protein in taste organoid cultures remained elevated even 72 h after adding LPS. The dynamics of TNF and IL-6 induction in taste organoids closely resembled that in endogenous taste epithelium but was different from that in Raw264.7 monocyte/macrophage cells. These results indicate that the induction of inflammatory cytokines in taste cells may utilize some unique mechanisms differing from those in immune cells. Our results also suggest that taste organoid cultures provide a useful tool to dissect these mechanisms.