Neuronal intermediate filaments in the developing tongue of the frog Rana esculenta


The expression of several neuronal intermediate filament (NIF) proteins was investigated in the tongue of metamorphosing tadpoles (stage 38-45 of Gosner) and in adult individuals of the frog, Rana esculenta by means of immunohistochemistry. Results showed that nerve fibres at early stages of tongue development expressed peripherin (a NIF protein usually found in differentiating neurones) as well as the light- and medium molecular weight NIF polypeptide subunits (NF-L and NF-M, respectively); in the adult frog, peripherin was still found in nerve fibres reaching the fungiform papilla together with NF-M, but NF-L immunoreactivity was absent therein. Clusters of epithelial cells expressing peripherin were found in the early developing tongue before differentiation of taste organs, and NF-L and NF-H immunoreactivities were present in basal (Merkel) cells of the adult frog taste disc. Results indicate that neurones innervating the adult frog’s taste disc maintain a certain plasticity in their cytoskeleton and that neuronal-like cells are present in the undifferentiated and differentiated tongue epithelium possibly playing a role in the developing and mature taste organ.



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How to Cite
Zuwala, K., Merigo, F., & Zancanaro, C. (2009). Neuronal intermediate filaments in the developing tongue of the frog Rana esculenta. European Journal of Histochemistry, 48(2), 121-128.