Effect of salivation on neural taste responses in freely moving rats: analyses of salivary secretion and taste responses of the chorda tympani nerve

Ryuji Matsuo, Takashi Yamamoto, Akio Ikehara, Osamu Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The outer surface of the mammalian taste receptor cell is usually covered with saliva, which may affect the initial process of gustation. To ascertain the interaction between salivation and gustation, salivary secretion from the submandibular and parotid glands and taste responses of the chorda tympani nerve were analyzed in the rat, during grooming, eating, and licking of the four standard taste stimuli (sucrose, NaCl, HCl, and quinine hydrochloride). Regions of the tongue surface bathed by saliva secreted from the each gland were examined, and it was found that: (1) Rats frequently groomed, and the anterior part of the tongue, innervated by the chorda tympani nerve, was usually covered with a mixture of submandibular saliva and substances on the body surface. (2) Licking of acceptable sucrose and NaCl solutions elicited initial phasic and long-lasting tonic taste responses, and did not evoked saliva enough to wash away the stimuli from the oral cavity. Licking of rejectable quinine evoked only a small phasic taste response and was followed by taste rejection behavior, accompanied by maximum salivation which could wash out the stimuli. (3) When taste responses were compared under awake and anesthetized (the tongue adapted to water) condition, sucrose response was larger, while responses to other taste stimuli were smaller under the awake condition. Rise time of the phasic NaCl response was longer under the awake condition. These taste response alterations may reflect the effects of prolonged adaptation of the tongue to the mixture of submandibular saliva and body surface substances, and flow rate of licked taste stimuli on the tongue surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-146
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Volume649
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 27 1994

Keywords

  • Chorda tympani
  • Conditioned taste aversion
  • Freely moving rat
  • Grooming
  • Licking
  • Salivation
  • Taste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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