We tested whether MC4R null mice display altered gustatory function relative to wild-type controls that may contribute to the characteristic hyperphagia and obesity associated with this gene deletion. Mice were tested for their licking responses to prototypical taste solutions (sucrose, NaCl, quinine, citric acid) in series of daily 30-min sessions in which a range of concentrations of each tastant was available in randomized blocks of 5-s trials. Notwithstanding some minor deviations, the concentration-response functions of the MC4R null and wild-type mice were basically the same for all of the prototypical compounds tested here. Thus, taste-based appetitive and avoidance behavior is expressed in the absence of the MC4 receptor, demonstrating that this critical component in the melanocortin system is not required for normal affective gustatory function to be maintained.
- Citric acid
- Knockout mice