Taste papilla cell differentiation requires the regulation of secretory protein production by ALK3-BMP signaling in the tongue mesenchyme
pubmed: wnt1 2023-12-08
Development. 2023 Sep 15;150(18):dev201838. doi: 10.1242/dev.201838. Epub 2023 Sep 25.
Taste papillae are specialized organs, each of which comprises an epithelial wall hosting taste buds and a core of mesenchymal tissue. In the present study, we report that during early taste papilla development in mouse embryos, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling mediated by type 1 receptor ALK3 in the tongue mesenchyme is required for epithelial Wnt/β-catenin activity and taste papilla differentiation. Mesenchyme-specific knockout (cKO) of Alk3 using Wnt1-Cre and Sox10-Cre resulted in an absence of taste papillae at E12.0. Biochemical and cell differentiation analyses demonstrated that mesenchymal ALK3-BMP signaling governed the production of previously unappreciated secretory proteins, i.e. it suppressed those that inhibit and facilitated those that promote taste papilla differentiation. Bulk RNA-sequencing analysis revealed many more differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the tongue epithelium than in the mesenchyme in Alk3 cKO versus control. Moreover, we detected downregulated epithelial Wnt/β-catenin signaling and found that taste papilla development in the Alk3 cKO was rescued by the GSK3β inhibitor LiCl, but not by Wnt3a. Our findings demonstrate for the first time the requirement of tongue mesenchyme in taste papilla cell differentiation.