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Neuroreport. 2002 Dec 20;13(18):2565-9.

Brief exposure to NaCl during early postnatal development enhances adult intake of sweet and salty compounds.

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  • 1Life Science Institute, Ajinomoto Co., Inc., 1-1 Suzuki-cho, 210-8681 Kawasaki, Japan. miroslav_smriga@ajinomoto.com


Taste acceptance involves both innate and acquired components. We observed an increased acceptance of salty and sweet solutions in adult rats whose tongues had been exposed to an NaCl-enriched milk formula during one day of early postnatal development. This behavioral effect was associated with changes in the norepinephrine system of the basolateral amygdala. No other changes in behavior, food intake, body weight, blood or metabolic parameters of the NaCl-exposed adult rats were identified. The data suggest a causal relationship between NaCl taste exposure, low content of amygdala norepinephrine cells and enhanced intake of sweet and salty compounds by adult rats. They also raise the question of the extent to which similar phenomena may occur during early human infant feeding.

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