Amiloride Sensitivity of the Chorda Tympani Response to Sodium Chloride in Sodium-Depleted Wistar Rats

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Peripheral gustatory mechanisms that may contribute to the expression of sodium (Na) appetite have been a focus of interest for many years. Because amiloride-sensitive Na transport is involved in the generation of neural signals in response to NaCl stimulation, the present study assessed whether changes in amiloride sensitivity of the neural response to NaCl accompany the induction of a Na appetite in the rat. Na deprivation was achieved by acute depletion with the diuretic furosemide. The magnitude of the whole-nerve chorda tympani response to 0.5 M NaCl was reduced in Na-depleted, compared with Na-replete, rats, which provides qualified support for previous reports that the induction of a Na appetite is associated with reduced neural responses to NaCl. However, changes in sensitivity to the specific Na channel blocker amiloride hydrochloride as a result of Na depletion were not evident. These findings suggest that the behavioral and neural changes that occur after Na depletion are not based on changes in amiloride sensitivity in the taste bud.

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