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Role of ions in generation of taste nerve responses to electrical tongue stimulation in rats



Role of ions in generation of taste nerve responses to electrical tongue stimulation in rats



Japanese Journal of Physiology 31(6): 891-902



The role of ions in the generation of taste nerve responses to electric currents was studied by examining integrated responses and single fiber discharges of the chorda tympani nerve to chemical and electrical stimulations of the tongue in rats. Integrated chorda tympani responses to anodal currents were suppressed after cessation of the blood flow to the tongue and on application of FeCl3 to the tongue surface. These findings indicate that electric currents do not stimulate the nerve directly but activate taste cells to evoke neural discharges. Magnitude of the integrated response to anodal current decreased with a decrease in concentration and with an increase in flow rate of the bathing solution applied over the tongue during electrical stimulation. All the chorda tympani fibers responsive to a certain electrolyte responded to anodal or cathodal current in the presence of the same electrolyte at its subliminal concentration in the flow chamber. However, there were a few fibers which did not respond to a few electrolytes, but responded to currents in the presence of either one of the electrolytes even at their much lower concentrations. Across-fiber correlations between the responses to chemical stimuli and anodal currents in the presence of the chemical solutions in the flow chamber indicated that responsiveness to anodal current was not always dependent on species of cation in the bathing solution. From these findings, we assume that the response to electric current is due to the effect of electrophoretically carried ions on not only specific but also non-specific receptor mechanisms for the ions.

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Accession: 006351255

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PMID: 6281501



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