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The molecular mechanisms of sodium taste transduction are not completely understood, especially those responsible for the portion of NaCl's taste in rodents that is not blocked by amiloride. As a prelude to conducting genetic analyses of peripheral NaCl taste responsiveness, we performed multiunit electrophysiological recordings from the chorda tympani (CT) nerve in C57BL/6J (B6) and A/J mice. Mice were anesthetized, the CT was accessed, and taste solutions were flowed over the tongue in order to measure the integrated whole-nerve response. NaCl was delivered before and during application of 100μM amiloride. Pre-amiloride responses were significantly larger in A/J than B6 mice for 1-8mM NaCl. Responses to NaCl were suppressed significantly by amiloride in both strains and to similar degrees. However, the size of the amiloride-insensitive NaCl response component was significantly larger in A/J mice than in B6 mice for NaCl at 2-16mM. These data help to explain the prior observation that the strains differ in behavioral taste thresholds for NaCl. Specifically, the results suggest that perception of sodium-specific taste by mice depends on the ratio of amiloride-sensitive and -insensitive responses in the CT, rather than on the absolute level of the whole-nerve response to NaCl or on the size of the amiloride-sensitive component alone. Because the B6 and A/J mice differed in the size of their amiloride-insensitive components, they may prove useful in future genetic work designed to characterize the underlying transduction mechanisms. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.


Chandra M Cherukuri, Alexander A Bachmanov, Stuart A McCaughey. A/J and C57BL/6J mice differ in chorda tympani responses to NaCl. Neuroscience research. 2013 Apr;75(4):283-8

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PMID: 23458904

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