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Brain Res. 1995 Apr 3;676(1):169-77.

Tongue adaptation temperature influences lingual nerve responses to thermal and menthol stimulation.

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Florida State University, Department of Psychology, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1051, USA.


Menthol, a tangible substance present in many orally administered products, can produce a powerful influence on the perceived intensity of subsequent thermal stimulation in humans as well as the response magnitudes of thermally sensitive neurons in rats. However, there are no prior studies examining the influence of adaptation temperature on perceived intensity and/or response magnitudes of thermally sensitive neurons to subsequent menthol stimulation. We identified 32 thermally sensitive neurons that increased their discharge rate to a gradual temperature decrement beginning from 35 degrees C and dropping to 10 degrees C at 1 degree C/s. Based on their response threshold, time-to-peak, and range of sensitivity, these thermally sensitive lingual neurons were found to be divisible into two distinct groups. Group 1 neurons (n = 21) responded best to the upper cool range (34-15 degrees C) of the temperature decrement, whereas Group 2 neurons (n = 11) responded to the lower cold range (32-10 degrees C) of the temperature decrement. Our Group 1 and Group 2 neurons may be analogous to low threshold and high threshold cold receptors identified previously in primates. We also examined the responses of lingual neurons to 0%, 25%, 50% and 75% dilution's of a stock menthol concentration (1.28 mM) at 25 and 35 degrees C adaptation temperatures. Menthol responses across all concentrations were far larger after adaptation to 35 degrees C compared to 25 degrees C. Furthermore, only during 35 degrees C adaptation did responses to menthol stimulation persist during the ensuing 20 s after menthol off-set and water on-set.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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