In fish, solitary chemosensory cells (SCCs) occur in the oropharynx, gills and skin and have often been found in association with taste buds. Among amphibia, a diffuse chemosensory system has been described on the ventral skin of toads, and a structural resemblance of SCCs to taste bud cells has been reported in frogs. Putative solitary chemoreceptors have been described in mammals too, at specific sites in the digestive or respiratory apparatus. In newborn rodents, a specific set of SCCs (composed of elements positive for α-gustducin, a marker of chemosensory cells) is associated with the gustatory epithelium. In conclusion, the available data suggest that a SCC system is not restricted to fish but is present in amphibia and mammals as well. At our present level of knowledge, establishing a precise homology between different species is difficult. However, the data from mammals and amphibia fully confirm previous findings in fish, and the use of chemical markers to study the diffuse chemosensory systems of vertebrates seems promising.

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