Journal Article

Systemic Modulation of Serotonergic Synapses via Reuptake Blockade or 5HT1A Receptor Antagonism Does Not Alter Perithreshold Taste Sensitivity in Rats

Clare M. Mathes and Alan C. Spector

in Chemical Senses

Volume 39, issue 7, pages 583-593
Published in print September 2014 | ISSN: 0379-864X
Published online July 2014 | e-ISSN: 1464-3553 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bju028
Systemic Modulation of Serotonergic Synapses via Reuptake Blockade or 5HT1A Receptor Antagonism Does Not Alter Perithreshold Taste Sensitivity in Rats

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Systemic blockade of serotonin (5HT) reuptake with paroxetine has been shown to increase sensitivity to sucrose and quinine in humans. Here, using a 2-response operant taste detection task, we measured the effect of paroxetine and the 5HT1A receptor antagonist WAY100635 on the ability of rats to discriminate sucrose, NaCl, and citric acid from water. After establishing individual psychometric functions, 5 concentrations of each taste stimulus were chosen to represent the dynamic portion of the concentration–response curve, and the performance of the rats to these stimuli was assessed after vehicle, paroxetine (7mg/kg intraperitoneally), and WAY100635 (0.3mg/kg subcutaneously; 1mg/kg intravenously) administration. Although, at times, overall performance across concentrations dropped, at most, 5% from vehicle to drug conditions, no differences relative to vehicle were seen on the parameters of the psychometric function (asymptote, slope, or EC50) after drug administration. In contrast to findings in humans, our results suggest that modulation of 5HT activity has little impact on sucrose detectability at perithreshold concentrations in rats, at least at the doses used in this task. In the rat model, the purported paracrine/neurocrine action of serotonin in the taste bud may work in a manner that does not impact overt taste detection behavior.

Keywords: antidepressants; gustatory; salt taste; sour taste; sweet taste; taste thresholds

Journal Article.  7301 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Molecular and Cell Biology

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