Parabrachial gustatory neural responses to monosodium glutamate ingested by awake rats

Hisao Nishijo, Taketoshi Ono, Ralph Norgren

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24 Scopus citations


A sample of 41 gustatory neurons isolated in the parabrachial nuclei of awake, behaving rats was tested with sapid solutions of 0.1 M monosodium glutamate (MSG), 0.5 mM of guanosine 5′-monophosphate (GMP), and a mixture of MSG and GMP as well as with 0.3 M sucrose, 0.1 M NaCl, 0.01 M citric acid, and 0.0001 M QHCl. Interneuronal correlation coefficients and factor analysis indicated that both the sodium cation and glutamic anion contributed to the activity elicited by MSG. Guanosine potentiated the responses to MSG, but only in neurons that also responded to sucrose. These results suggest that the gustatory contribution to the flavor denoted by the Japanese word "umami" may be mediated, in part, by neurons that also respond to chemicals described by humans as sweet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-971
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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