Oral mechanosensory neurons provide essential information for feeding and social behaviors, yet no one knows the identities and functional properties of the neurons involved. Dr. Moayedi’s team identified anatomical classes of tongue-innervating neurons that express the mechanosensory ion channel Piezo2. These neurons are unique and do not fit into our understanding of mechanosensory neuron classes, making their role in sensation unclear. To address this, the team used in vivo calcium imaging of sensory neuron responses to tongue stimulation. They investigated responses of tongue-innervating trigeminal neurons to thermal and mechanical stimulation (e.g., pressure, brush, room temperature and cold fluid flow).
In this webinar, Dr. Moayedi discusses her novel method to classify neuron response groups. These studies are amongst the first to classify mechanosensory neurons innervating the tongue.