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J Neurosci. 1999 Apr 15;19(8):3107-21.

Glossopharyngeal nerve transection eliminates quinine-stimulated fos-like immunoreactivity in the nucleus of the solitary tract: implications for a functional topography of gustatory nerve input in rats.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA.

Abstract

The relationship between specific gustatory nerve activity and central patterns of taste-evoked neuronal activation is poorly understood. To address this issue within the first central synaptic relay in the gustatory system, we examined the distribution of neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NST) activated by the intraoral infusion of quinine using Fos immunohistochemistry in rats with bilateral transection of the chorda tympani (CTX), bilateral transection of the glossopharyngeal nerve (GLX), or combined neurotomy (DBLX). Compared with nonstimulated and water-stimulated controls, quinine evoked significantly more Fos-like-immunoreactive (FLI) neurons across the rostrocaudal extent of the gustatory NST (gNST), especially within its dorsomedial portion (subfield 5). Although the somatosensory aspects of fluid stimulation contributed to the observed increase in FLI neurons, the elevated number and spatial distribution of FLI neurons in response to quinine were remarkably distinguishable from those in response to water. GLX and DBLX produced a dramatic attenuation of quinine-evoked FLI neurons and a shift in their spatial distribution such that their number and pattern were indiscernable from those observed in water-stimulated controls. Although CTX had no effect on the number of quinine-evoked FLI neurons within subfield 5 at intermediate levels of the gNST, it produced intermediate effects elsewhere; yet, the spatial distribution of the quinine-evoked FLI neurons was not altered by CTX. These findings suggest that the GL provides input to all FLI neurons responsive to quinine, however, some degree of convergence with CT input apparently occurs in this subpopulation of neurons. Although the role of these FLI neurons in taste-guided behavioral responses to quinine remains speculative, their possible function in oromotor reflex control is considered.

PMID:
10191326
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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