Low-dose furosemide modulates taste responses in the nucleus of the solitary tract of the rat

Young K. Cho, Michael E. Smith, Ralph Norgren

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13 Scopus citations


Taste-evoked neural responses in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NST) are subject to both excitatory and inhibitory modulation by physiological conditions that influence ingestion. Treatments that induce sodium appetite predominantly reduce NST gustatory responsiveness to sapid stimuli. When sodium appetite is aroused with 10 mg of the diuretic furosemide (Furo), however, NST gustatory neurons exhibit an enhanced responsiveness to NaCl. In addition to inducing a sodium appetite, 10 mg Furo supports a conditioned taste aversion (CTA). A lower, 2-mg dose of Furo induces an equivalent sodium appetite, but not a CTA. To determine whether the anomalous electrophysiological results reflected the adverse effects of the 10-mg dose, we replicated the original experiment but instead used 2 mg of Furo. In chronically prepared, lightly anesthetized rats, the responses of 49 single NST neurons to 12 taste stimuli were recorded after subcutaneous injections of either 2 mg Furo or saline. There was no effect of treatment on NST neural responses to the four standard taste stimuli. In the NaCl concentration series, however, 2 mg Furo evoked significantly higher responses to the two highest concentrations of NaCl. There was no effect of treatment in the sucrose concentration series. Thus, unlike other methods that induce a sodium appetite, Furo increases NST neural responsiveness to NaCl. At least as far as the first central relay, sodium appetite apparently does not depend on specific changes in the sensory neural code for taste.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R706-R714
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4 56-4
StatePublished - Oct 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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