1. Department of Otolaryngology, the Second Affiliated Hospital of the Naval Military Medical University (Shanghai Changzheng Hospital), Shanghai, People's Republic of China.
2. Ear, Nose & Throat Institute, Department of Otolaryngology, Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200031, People's Republic of China.
3. Olfactory Disorder Diagnosis and Treatment Center, Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200031, People's Republic of China
4. School of Life Sciences, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, People's Republic of China.
5. Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
# These authors contributed equally to this work.
Rationale: Gustation is important to several biological functions in mammals. However, chemotherapy drugs often harm taste perception in cancer patients, while the underlying mechanism is still unclear for most drugs and there is no effective way to restore taste function. This study investigated the effects of cisplatin on the taste cell homeostasis and gustatory function.
Methods: We used both mice and taste organoid models to study the effect of cisplatin on taste buds. Gustometer assay, gustatory nerve recording, RNA-Sequencing, quantitative PCR, and immunohistochemistry was performed to analyze the cisplatin-induced alteration in taste behavior and function, transcriptome, apoptosis, cell proliferation and taste cell generation.
Results: Cisplatin inhibited proliferation and promoted apoptosis in the circumvallate papilla, leading to significant impairment in taste function and receptor cell generation. The transcriptional profile of genes associated with cell cycle, metabolic process and inflammatory response was significantly altered after cisplatin treatment. Cisplatin inhibited growth, promoted apoptosis, and deferred taste receptor cell differentiation in taste organoids. LY411575, a γ-secretase inhibitor, reduced the number of apoptotic cells and increased the number of proliferative cells and taste receptor cells, potentially suggesting as a taste tissue protective agent against chemotherapy. LY411575 treatment could offset the increased number of Pax1+ or Pycr1+ cells induced by cisplatin in the circumvallate papilla and taste organoids.
Conclusion: This study highlights the inhibitory effects of cisplatin on taste cell homeostasis and function, identifies critical genes and biological processes regulated by chemotherapy, and proposes potential therapeutic targets and strategy for taste dysfunction in cancer patients.
Keywords: Cisplatin, circumvallate papilla, taste receptor cell, inflammation, taste organoid, LY411575