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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Taste-evoked responses to sweeteners in the nucleus of the solitary tract differ between C57BL/6ByJ and 129P3/J mice.

C57BL/6ByJ (B6) and 129P3/J (129) mice have different alleles of Tas1r3, which is thought to influence gustatory transduction of sweeteners, but studies have provided conflicting results regarding differences in sweetness perception between these strains. Single-unit taste-evoked activity was measured in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NST) in anesthetized B6 and 129 mice to address this controversy and to provide the first electrophysiological characterization of this nucleus in mice. Neurons had properties similar to those of NST cells in other species, including mean breadth-of-tuning of 0.8 +/- 0. 0. There were no strain differences in neural responses at 600 or 900 ms after onset, but, with a 5 s evoked period, responses to the sweeteners sucrose, maltose, acesulfame-K, SC-45647, and D-phenylalanine were significantly larger in B6 relative to 129 mice. The strains did not differ in their mean response to NaSaccharin, but it evoked an across-neuron pattern of activity that was more similar to that of sucrose and less similar to that of NaCl in B6 mice compared with 129 mice. Neurons were classified as sucrose, NaCl, or HCl responsive, with the former more common in B6 than 129 mice. Relative to other neurons, sucrose-responsive cells had delayed but more sustained sweetener responses in both strains. The results suggest that B6 mice perceive some sweeteners as more intense, but NaSaccharin as sweeter and less salty, relative to 129 mice. Furthermore, activity evoked by sweeteners includes a phasic response sent to different NST cells than a later tonic response, and only the latter differs between B6 and 129 mice.[1]


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