Responses of single taste fibers and whole chorda tympani and glossopharyngeal nerve in the domestic pig, Sus scrofa

Vicktoria Danilova, Thomas Roberts, Göran Hellekant

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49 Scopus citations


Whole nerve, as well as single fiber, responses in the chorda tympani proper (CT) and glossopharyngeal (NG) nerves of 1- to 7-week-old pigs were recorded during taste stimulation. In the CT acids and in the NG bitter compounds gave the largest responses. Both nerves exhibited large responses to monosodium glutamate (MSG), MSG with guanosine 5'-monophosphate (GMP) and MSG with inositine 5'-monophosphate (IMP) as well as to glycine, xylitol, sucrose, fructose and glucose. Alitame, aspartame, betaine, neohesperedin dihydrochalcone (NHDHC), super-aspartame, saccharin and thaumatin elicited no or little response. Hierarchical cluster analysis of 49 CT fibers separated four major clusters. The M cluster, comprising 28.5% of all fibers, is characterized by strong responses to MSG, KCl, LiCl and NaCl. The responses to NaCl and LiCl were unaffected by amiloride. The H cluster (24.5%) includes units responding principally to acids. The Q cluster (18.5%) responds to quinine hydrochloride (QHCl), sucrose octaacetate (SOA) and salts with amiloride. The S cluster (28.5%) exhibits strong responses to xylitol, glycine and the carbohydrates as well as to MSG alone and to MSG with GMP or IMP. In 31 NG fibers, hierarchical cluster analysis revealed four clusters: the M cluster (10%), responding to MSG and MSG with GMP or IMP; the H cluster (13%), responding to acids; the Q cluster (29%), responding strongly to QHCl, SOA and tilmicosin®; and the S cluster (48%), responding best to xylitol, carbohydrates and glycine but also to the umami compounds. Multidimensional scaling analysis across fiber responses to all stimuli showed the best separation between compounds with different taste qualities when information from both nerves was utilized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-316
Number of pages16
JournalChemical Senses
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

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