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Thursday 01 July 2004

Responses of the rat chorda tympani nerve to glutamate-sucrose mixtures.

By: Formaker BK, Stapleton JR, Roper SD, Frank ME.

Chem Senses 2004 Jul;29(6):473-82

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) has a multifaceted, unusual taste to humans. Rats and other rodents also detect a complex taste to MSG. Responses of the chorda tympani nerve (CT) to glutamate applied to the front of the tongue were recorded in 13 anesthetized rats. Whole-nerve responses to 30 mM, 100 mM and 300 mM MSG mixed with 300 mM sucrose were recorded before and after adding 30 micro M amiloride to the rinse and stimulus solutions. Responses of CT single fibers were also recorded. Predictions from models of whole-nerve responses to binary mixtures were compared to the observed data. Results indicated that MSG-elicited CT responses have multiple sources, even in an amiloride-inhibited environment in rats. Those sources include responses of sucrose-sensitive CT neural units, which may provide the substrate for a sucrose-glutamate perceptual similarity, and responses of sucrose-insensitive CT neural units, which may respond synergistically to MSG-sucrose mixtures.

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