Gustatory neural responses to umami stimuli in the parabrachial nucleus of C57BL/6J mice

Kenichi Tokita, Takashi Yamamoto, John Boughter

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14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Umami is considered to be the fifth basic taste quality and is elicited by glutamate. The mouse is an ideal rodent model for the study of this taste quality because of evidence that suggests that this species, like humans, may sense umami-tasting compounds as unique from other basic taste qualities. We performed single-unit recording of taste responses in the parabrachial nucleus (PbN) of anesthetized C57BL/6J mice to investigate the central representation of umami taste. A total of 52 taste-responsive neurons (22 sucrose-best, 19 NaCl-best, 5 citric acid-best, and 6 quinine-best) were recorded from stimulation period with a large panel of basic and umami-tasting stimuli. No neuron responded best to monopotassium glutamate (MPG) or inosine 5′-monophosphate (IMP), suggesting convergence of input in the central nervous system. Synergism induced by an MPG-IMP mixture was observed in all sucrose-best and some NaCl-best neurons that possessed strong sensitivity to sucrose. In more than half of sucrose-best neurons, the MPG-IMP mixture evoked stronger responses than those elicited by their best stimulus. Furthermore, hierarchical cluster analysis and multidimensional analysis indicated close similarity between sucrose and the MPG-IMP mixture. These results strongly suggest the mixture tastes sweet to mice, a conclusion consistent with previous findings that show bidirectional generalization of conditioned taste aversion between sucrose and umami mixtures, and suppression of taste responses to both sucrose and mixtures by the antisweet polypeptide gurmarin in the chorda tympani nerve. The distribution pattern of reconstructed recording sites of specific neuron types suggested chemotopic organization in the PbN. copy; 2012 the American Physiological Society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1545-1555
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Volume107
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

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Inbred C57BL Mouse
Sucrose
Inosine Monophosphate
Glutamic Acid
Neurons
Chorda Tympani Nerve
Parabrachial Nucleus
Quinine
Citric Acid
Cluster Analysis
Rodentia
Central Nervous System
Peptides

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

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Gustatory neural responses to umami stimuli in the parabrachial nucleus of C57BL/6J mice. / Tokita, Kenichi; Yamamoto, Takashi; Boughter, John.

In: Journal of neurophysiology, Vol. 107, No. 6, 01.03.2012, p. 1545-1555.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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