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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Nov;293(5):R1823-32. Epub 2007 Sep 5.

CD36 gene deletion reduces fat preference and intake but not post-oral fat conditioning in mice.

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  • 1Dept. of Psychology, Brooklyn College of City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11210, USA.


Several findings suggest the existence of a "fatty" taste, and the CD36 fatty acid translocase is a candidate taste receptor. The present study compared fat preference and acceptance in CD36 knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice using nutritive (triglyceride and fatty acid) and nonnutritive (Sefa Soyate oil) emulsions. In two-bottle tests (24 h/day) naive KO mice, unlike WT mice, displayed little or no preference for dilute soybean oil, linoleic acid, or Sefa Soyate emulsions. At high concentrations (2.5-20%), KO mice developed significant soybean oil preferences, although they consumed less oil than WT mice. The postoral actions of fat likely conditioned these preferences. KO mice, like WT mice, learned to prefer a flavored solution paired with intragastric soybean oil infusions. These findings support CD36 mediation of a gustatory component to fat preference but demonstrate that it is not essential for fat-conditioned flavor preferences. The finding that oil-naive KO mice failed to prefer a nonnutritive oil, assumed to provide texture rather than taste cues, requires explanation. Finally, CD36 deletion decreased fat consumption and enhanced the ability of the mice to compensate for the calories provided by their optional fat intake.

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