Summer Placement Experience: Oyinkansola
2020-08-21

Hi everyone, my name is Abie and I am a 3rd-year Physiology student. I am currently doing a summer research project and I’ve just come on here to tell you a little bit about my project. Despite COVID-19, I am fortunate enough to be able to work on my research project remotely over the past 5 weeks.

Obesity is one of the most significant global health issues today. It is caused by overconsumption of high fat and sugar foods over a long time. This leads to excess weight gain which causes an increased risk of developing other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus to name a few. My project is about how taste buds change on a High-Fat Diet (HFD). A better understanding of how taste buds change on this diet can give us further insight into the effects of HFD and obesity on taste perception and food choice.

Taste buds primarily detect sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami taste qualities. There are three main types of taste bud cells. Firstly, Type I cells play a supportive role, Type II cells detect sweet, bitter and umami tastants and lastly Type III cells detect sour tastants such as citric acid. The focus of my project is on Type III cells; these cells are unique as they are the only type of taste cells to form synapses. The type III cells release the neurotransmitter GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) when depolarised. GABA binds to its receptor on Type II taste cells and inhibits the release of other neurotransmitters and modulators such as ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). It has been proven that a high-fat diet causes a loss of taste bud cells which leads to a decrease in Type III cells and therefore a reduction in the expression of GABA. My project investigates how quickly this reduction in GABA expression takes place. This reduction is quantified by comparing GABA expression of mice that have been on an HFD for 1 week to mice that have been on an HFD for 4 weeks.

At this point, I’m currently collating the results by counting the number of taste bud cells in slices of the circumvallate papillae that have been stained with GAD67 (a marker for GABA). Over this period, I have learnt how to use the ImageJ software to count cells and I’ve been reviewing the literature on this topic. Undertaking this project has been an invaluable experience for me and I’m glad I was able to participate in this during the holidays despite COVID-19 restrictions.

In the wider university community, I have been involved with several societies including the African Caribbean Society and First Love. In my spare time, I like to sing and draw digital illustrations.

Thank you all for reading. Hope you stay safe and enjoy your day!

Published by The School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, University of Aberdeen

Search Blog

Browse by Month

2022

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2022
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2022
  5. May There are no items to show for May 2022
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2022
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2022
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2022
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2022
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2022
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2022
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2022

2021

  1. Jan
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2021
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2021
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2021
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2021
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

2020

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2020
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2020
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

2019

  1. Jan
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2019
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2019
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2019
  10. Oct
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2019
  12. Dec

2018

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2018
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2018
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2018
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2018
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec