Factors related to fungiform papillae density: The beaver dam offspring study

Mary E. Fischer*, Karen J. Cruickshanks, Carla R. Schubert, Alex Pinto, Ronald Klein, Nathan Pankratz, James S. Pankow, Guan-Hua Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

The distribution of fungiform papillae density and associated factors were examined in the Beaver Dam Offspring Study. Data were from 2371 participants (mean age = 48.8 years, range = 21-84 years) with 1108 males and 1263 females. Fungiform papillae were highlighted with blue food coloring and the number of fungiform papillae within a standard 6-mm circle was counted. Whole mouth suprathreshold taste intensity was measured. The mean fungiform papillae density was 103.5 papillae/cm2 (range = 0-212.2 papillae/cm2). For each 5-year increase in age, the mean fungiform papillae density was 2.8 papillae/cm2 lower and the mean density for males was 10.2 papillae/cm2 lower than for females. Smokers had significantly lower mean densities (former smokers: -5.1 papillae/cm2; current smokers: -9.3 papillae/cm2) than nonsmokers, and heavy alcohol drinkers had a mean density that was 4.7 papillae/cm2 lower than nonheavy drinkers. Solvent exposure was related to a significantly higher density (+6.8 papillae/cm2). The heritability estimate for fungiform papillae density was 40.2%. Propylthiouracil taster status, TAS2R38 haplotype, and perceived taste intensity were not related to density. In summary, wide variability in fungiform papillae density was observed and a number of related factors were found including the modifiable factors of smoking and alcohol consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-677
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Senses
Volume38
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2013

Keywords

  • Fungiform papillae
  • Heritability
  • Taste

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Factors related to fungiform papillae density: The beaver dam offspring study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Fischer, M. E., Cruickshanks, K. J., Schubert, C. R., Pinto, A., Klein, R., Pankratz, N., Pankow, J. S., & Huang, G-H. (2013). Factors related to fungiform papillae density: The beaver dam offspring study. Chemical Senses, 38(8), 669-677. https://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjt033