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Water as an independent taste modality.

Rosen AM, Roussin AT, Di Lorenzo PM - Front Neurosci (2010)

Bottom Line: Both excitatory and inhibitory responses were observed.Also, the temporal features of the water response resembled those of other taste responses.Water-dedicated neurons in the brainstem may constitute key elements in the regulatory system for fluid in the body, i.e., thirst, and as part of the swallowing reflex circuitry.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Binghamton University Binghamton, NY, USA.

ABSTRACT
To qualify as a "basic" taste quality or modality, defined as a group of chemicals that taste alike, three empirical benchmarks have commonly been used. The first is that a candidate group of tastants must have a dedicated transduction mechanism in the peripheral nervous system. The second is that the tastants evoke physiological responses in dedicated afferent taste nerves innervating the oropharyngeal cavity. Last, the taste stimuli evoke activity in central gustatory neurons, some of which may respond only to that group of tastants. Here we argue that water may also be an independent taste modality. This argument is based on the identification of a water dedicated transduction mechanism in the peripheral nervous system, water responsive fibers of the peripheral taste nerves and the observation of water responsive neurons in all gustatory regions within the central nervous system. We have described electrophysiological responses from single neurons in nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) and parabrachial nucleus of the pons, respectively the first two central relay nuclei in the rodent brainstem, to water presented as a taste stimulus in anesthetized rats. Responses to water were in some cases as robust as responses to other taste qualities and sometimes occurred in the absence of responses to other tastants. Both excitatory and inhibitory responses were observed. Also, the temporal features of the water response resembled those of other taste responses. We argue that water may constitute an independent taste modality that is processed by dedicated neural channels at all levels of the gustatory neuraxis. Water-dedicated neurons in the brainstem may constitute key elements in the regulatory system for fluid in the body, i.e., thirst, and as part of the swallowing reflex circuitry.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Average responses to water delivered before (red) and after (blue) each of the four prototypical taste stimuli in the NTS (A) and PbN (B). For each stimulus, cells are aligned according to their pre-tastant water response.
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Figure 4: Average responses to water delivered before (red) and after (blue) each of the four prototypical taste stimuli in the NTS (A) and PbN (B). For each stimulus, cells are aligned according to their pre-tastant water response.

Mentions: The responses to water before and after each of the four prototypical taste qualities are shown in Figure 4. Tastant delivery altered water responsivity in a stimulus specific manner in all 22 cells that showed conditional water responses. It can be seen that water responses following a taste stimulus could either increase or decrease with respect to the water response just preceding that tastant. Furthermore, conditional water responses were found for every taste stimulus in some subset of cells and were equally common in NTS and PbN.


Water as an independent taste modality.

Rosen AM, Roussin AT, Di Lorenzo PM - Front Neurosci (2010)

Average responses to water delivered before (red) and after (blue) each of the four prototypical taste stimuli in the NTS (A) and PbN (B). For each stimulus, cells are aligned according to their pre-tastant water response.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2967336&req=5

Figure 4: Average responses to water delivered before (red) and after (blue) each of the four prototypical taste stimuli in the NTS (A) and PbN (B). For each stimulus, cells are aligned according to their pre-tastant water response.
Mentions: The responses to water before and after each of the four prototypical taste qualities are shown in Figure 4. Tastant delivery altered water responsivity in a stimulus specific manner in all 22 cells that showed conditional water responses. It can be seen that water responses following a taste stimulus could either increase or decrease with respect to the water response just preceding that tastant. Furthermore, conditional water responses were found for every taste stimulus in some subset of cells and were equally common in NTS and PbN.

Bottom Line: Both excitatory and inhibitory responses were observed.Also, the temporal features of the water response resembled those of other taste responses.Water-dedicated neurons in the brainstem may constitute key elements in the regulatory system for fluid in the body, i.e., thirst, and as part of the swallowing reflex circuitry.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Binghamton University Binghamton, NY, USA.

ABSTRACT
To qualify as a "basic" taste quality or modality, defined as a group of chemicals that taste alike, three empirical benchmarks have commonly been used. The first is that a candidate group of tastants must have a dedicated transduction mechanism in the peripheral nervous system. The second is that the tastants evoke physiological responses in dedicated afferent taste nerves innervating the oropharyngeal cavity. Last, the taste stimuli evoke activity in central gustatory neurons, some of which may respond only to that group of tastants. Here we argue that water may also be an independent taste modality. This argument is based on the identification of a water dedicated transduction mechanism in the peripheral nervous system, water responsive fibers of the peripheral taste nerves and the observation of water responsive neurons in all gustatory regions within the central nervous system. We have described electrophysiological responses from single neurons in nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) and parabrachial nucleus of the pons, respectively the first two central relay nuclei in the rodent brainstem, to water presented as a taste stimulus in anesthetized rats. Responses to water were in some cases as robust as responses to other taste qualities and sometimes occurred in the absence of responses to other tastants. Both excitatory and inhibitory responses were observed. Also, the temporal features of the water response resembled those of other taste responses. We argue that water may constitute an independent taste modality that is processed by dedicated neural channels at all levels of the gustatory neuraxis. Water-dedicated neurons in the brainstem may constitute key elements in the regulatory system for fluid in the body, i.e., thirst, and as part of the swallowing reflex circuitry.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus