Document Detail

Taste coding in the nucleus of the solitary tract of the awake, freely licking rat.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22855799     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
It is becoming increasingly clear that the brain processes sensory stimuli differently according to whether they are passively or actively acquired, and these differences can be seen early in the sensory pathway. In the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), the first relay in the central gustatory neuraxis, a rich variety of sensory inputs generated by active licking converge. Here, we show that taste responses in the NTS reflect these interactions. Experiments consisted of recordings of taste-related activity in the NTS of awake rats as they freely licked exemplars of the five basic taste qualities (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami). Nearly all taste-responsive cells were broadly tuned across taste qualities. A subset responded to taste with long latencies (>1.0 s), suggesting the activation of extraoral chemoreceptors. Analyses of the temporal characteristics of taste responses showed that spike timing conveyed significantly more information than spike count alone in almost one-half of NTS cells, as in anesthetized rats, but with less information per cell. In addition to taste-responsive cells, the NTS contains cells that synchronize with licks. Since the lick pattern per se can convey information, these cells may collaborate with taste-responsive cells to identify taste quality. Other cells become silent during licking. These latter "antilick" cells show a surge in firing rate predicting the beginning and signaling the end of a lick bout. Collectively, the data reveal a complex array of cell types in the NTS, only a portion of which include taste-responsive cells, which work together to acquire sensory information.
Andre T Roussin; Alexandra E D'Agostino; Andrew M Fooden; Jonathan D Victor; Patricia M Di Lorenzo
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience     Volume:  32     ISSN:  1529-2401     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurosci.     Publication Date:  2012 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-08-02     Completed Date:  2012-10-15     Revised Date:  2013-07-12    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8102140     Medline TA:  J Neurosci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  10494-506     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York 13902, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Action Potentials / physiology
Citric Acid / pharmacology
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Drinking Behavior / physiology*
Neural Inhibition / physiology
Neurons / drug effects,  physiology*
Quinine / pharmacology
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Reaction Time / physiology
Reinforcement (Psychology)
Reinforcement Schedule
Sodium Chloride / pharmacology
Solitary Nucleus / cytology,  physiology*
Sucrose / pharmacology
Sweetening Agents / pharmacology
Taste / drug effects,  physiology*
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Sweetening Agents; 130-95-0/Quinine; 57-50-1/Sucrose; 7647-14-5/Sodium Chloride; 77-92-9/Citric Acid

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