1. Developmental Biology
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Taste bud formation depends on taste nerves

  1. Di Fan
  2. Zoubida Chettouh
  3. Giacomo Consalez
  4. Jean-François Brunet  Is a corresponding author
  1. Ecole Normale Supérieure, France
  2. San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Italy
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e49226 doi: 10.7554/eLife.49226


It has been known for more than a century that, in adult vertebrates, the maintenance of taste buds depends on their afferent nerves. However, the initial formation of taste buds is proposed to be nerve-independent in amphibians, and evidence to the contrary in mammals has been endlessly debated, mostly due to indirect and incomplete means to impede innervation during the protracted perinatal period of taste bud differentiation. Here, by genetically ablating, in mice, all somatic (i.e. touch) or visceral (i.e. taste) neurons for the oral cavity, we show that the latter but not the former are absolutely required for the proper formation of their target organs, the taste buds.

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All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript, and in the source data files.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Di Fan

    Institut de Biologie de l'ENS, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Zoubida Chettouh

    Institut de Biologie de l'ENS, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Giacomo Consalez

    San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milano, Italy
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Jean-François Brunet

    Institut de Biologie de l'ENS, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-1985-6103


Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-12-BSV4-0007-01)

  • Jean-François Brunet

Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-10-LABX-54 MEMOLIFE)

  • Jean-François Brunet

Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-11-IDEX-0001-02 PSL research University)

  • Jean-François Brunet

Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (DEQ 2000326472)

  • Jean-François Brunet

Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-17-CE16-00006-01)

  • Jean-François Brunet

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.


Animal experimentation: All animal studies were done in accordance with the guidelines issued by the French Ministry of Agriculture and have been approved by the Direction Départementale des Services Vétérinaires de Paris.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Jeremy Nathans, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: June 11, 2019
  2. Accepted: September 23, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: October 1, 2019 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: October 9, 2019 (version 2)


© 2019, Fan et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.


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