Journal Article

Effect of Chorda Tympani Nerve Transection on Salt Taste Perception in Mice

Glen J. Golden, Yutaka Ishiwatari, Maria L. Theodorides and Alexander A. Bachmanov

in Chemical Senses

Volume 36, issue 9, pages 811-819
Published in print November 2011 | ISSN: 0379-864X
Published online July 2011 | e-ISSN: 1464-3553 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjr056

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Effects of gustatory nerve transection on salt taste have been studied extensively in rats and hamsters but have not been well explored in the mouse. We examined the effects of chorda tympani (CT) nerve transection on NaCl taste preferences and thresholds in outbred CD-1 mice using a high-throughput phenotyping method developed in our laboratory. To measure taste thresholds, mice were conditioned by oral self-administration of LiCl or NaCl and then presented with NaCl concentration series in 2-bottle preference tests. LiCl-conditioned and control NaCl-exposed mice were given bilateral transections of the CT nerve (LiCl-CTX, NaCl-CTX) or were left intact as controls (LiCl-CNT, NaCl-CNT). After recovery from surgery, mice received a concentration series of NaCl (0–300 mM) in 48-h 2-bottle tests. CT transection increased NaCl taste thresholds in LiCl-conditioned mice and eliminated avoidance of concentrated NaCl in control NaCl-exposed mice. This demonstrates that in mice, the CT nerve is important for detection and recognition of NaCl taste and is necessary for the normal avoidance of high concentrations of NaCl. The results of this experiment also show that the method of high-throughput phenotyping of salt taste thresholds is suitable for detecting changes in the taste periphery in mouse genetic studies.

Keywords: conditioned taste aversion; LiCl; taste preferences; taste threshold

Journal Article.  5874 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Molecular and Cell Biology

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