Differential involvement of two cortical masticatory areas in submandibular salivary secretion in rats

Naoto Maeda, Motoi Kobashi, Yoshihiro Mitoh, Masako Fujita, Shogo Minagi, Ryuji Matsuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate the role of the masticatory area in the cerebral cortex in the masticatory-salivary reflex, we investigated submandibular salivary secretion, jaw-movement trajectory and electromyographic activity of the jaw-opener (digastric) and jaw-closer (masseter) muscles evoked by repetitive electrical stimulation of the cortical masticatory area in anesthetized rats. Rats have two cortical masticatory areas: the anterior area (A-area) in the orofacial motor cortex, and the posterior area (P-area) in the insular cortex. Our defined P-area extended more caudally than the previous reported one. P-area stimulation induced vigorous salivary secretion (about 20 μl/min) and rhythmical jaw movements (3-4 Hz) resembling masticatory movements. Salivary flow persisted even after minimizing jaw movements by curarization. A-area stimulation induced small and fast rhythmical jaw movements (6-8 Hz) resembling licking of solutions, but not salivary secretion. These findings suggest that P-area controls salivary secretion as well as mastication, and may be involved in the masticatory-salivary reflex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-208
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 16 2014


  • Cerebral cortex
  • EMG
  • Jaw movements
  • Rat
  • Salivary secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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