Gustatory functions, sodium appetite, and conditioned taste aversion survive excitotoxic lesions of the thalamic taste area

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Abstract

Rats with bilateral, electrophysiologically guided, ibotenic acid lesions of the gustatory thalamus (THLX) were tested for their ability to perform a variety of taste-guided behaviors. First, in daily 30-min sessions, the rats were given repeated 10-s access periods to a range of concentrations of sucrose, NaCl, or QHCl, plus water. Both the control and the THLX rats exhibited similar concentration-response functions, regardless of hydrational state. Next, on 3 trials, the rats were given 15 min access to 0.3 M l- alanine and then injected with LiCl (0.15 M, 1.33 ml/100 g body weight ip). All rats learned a taste aversion following 1 pairing with LiCl. Finally, on 3 separate occasions, the rats were injected with furosemide, and Na+- appetite was evaluated 24 hr later. All rats expressed an equivalent sodium appetite after the first furosemide injection, but only the control rats increased intake of 0.51 M NaCl with repeated sodium depletions. These observations reinforce prior data implying that an intact gustatory thalamus is not necessary for the expression of some taste-guided behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-645
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Volume111
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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