Bmp signalling in filiform tongue papillae development

Katsushige Kawasaki, Thantrira Porntaveetus, Shelly Oommen, Sarah Ghafoor, Maiko Kawasaki, Yoko Otsuka-Tanaka, James Blackburn, John A. Kessler, Paul T. Sharpe, Atsushi Ohazama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: Tongue papillae are critical organs in mastication. There are four different types of tongue papillae; fungiform, circumvallate, foliate, and filiform papillae. Unlike the other three taste papillae, non-gustatory papillae, filiform papillae cover the entire dorsal surface of the tongue and are important structures for the mechanical stress of sucking. Filiform papillae are further classified into two subtypes with different morphologies, depending on their location on the dorsum of the tongue. The filiform papillae at the intermolar eminence have pointed tips, whereas filiform papillae with rounded tips are found in other regions (anterior tongue). It remains unknown how the shape of each type of filiform papillae are determined during their development. Bmp signalling pathway has been known to regulate mechanisms that determine the shapes of many ectodermal organs. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of Bmp signalling in filiform papillae development. Design: Comparative in situ hybridization analysis of six Bmps (Bmp2-Bmp7) and two Bmpr genes (Bmpr1a and Bmpr1b) were carried out in filiform papillae development. We further examined tongue papillae in mice over-expressing Noggin under the keratin14 promoter (K14-Noggin). Results: We identified a dynamic temporo-spatial expression of Bmps in filiform papillae development. The K14-Noggin mice showed pointed filiform papillae in regions of the tongue normally occupied by the rounded type. Conclusions: Bmp signalling thus regulates the shape of filiform papillae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-813
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Anterior tongue
  • Filiform papillae
  • Intermolar eminence
  • Tongue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Cell Biology


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