Fluorescent carbocyanine dye (diI), applied to the glossopharyngeal (IX) nerve of the axolotl, transneuronally labeled solitary cells in the non-taste lingual epithelium. With diaminobenzidine (DAB), the diI was photoconverted to a dark, electron-dense product. The labeled cell had a large nucleus with invaginations, dense-cored vesicles in the cytoplasm, and finger-like processes. These are reminiscent of morphological features of cutaneous Merkel cells, suggesting that solitary cells innervated by the IX nerve are associated with mechanosensory function of the IX nerve system.
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