Altered taste sensitivity in obese, prediabetic OLETF rats lacking CCK-1 receptors

Andras Hajnal, Mihai Covasa, Nicholas T. Bello

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65 Scopus citations


Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima fatty (OLETF) rats lack the CCK-1 receptor, are hyperphagic, progressively become obese, and develop type-2 diabetes. We recently demonstrated an increased preference for both real and sham feeding of sucrose in this strain, suggesting altered orosensory sensitivity. To investigate taste functions, we used an automated gustometer with 10-s access to different concentrations of various sapid stimuli. Tests were repeated at 10 and 18 wk of age to assess the early and advanced stages of prediabetes, respectively. Compared with age-matched, nonmutant controls, the OLETF rats showed higher avidity for sucrose at both ages. This difference increased as a function of age and tastant concentration. An exaggerated response also occurred for saccharin, alanine, and fructose, but not for Polycose. Similarly, OLETF rats consumed monosodium-glutamate more at the lower concentrations compared with controls, an effect that age also accentuated. In contrast, there was no statistical strain or age differences in responses to NaCl, MgCl2, citric acid, quinine-HCl, and the trigeminal stimulus capsaicin. These findings demonstrate that compared with controls, OLETF rats differ in their gustatory functions with an overall augmented sensitivity for sweet that progresses during prediabetes. This effect explains their overconsumption of sweet solutions and may contribute to the overall hyperphagia and obesity in this strain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1675-R1686
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6 58-6
StatePublished - Dec 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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