The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) of rats has reciprocal connections with the gustatory and the hedonic impact coding structures. The main goal of the present study was to investigate the involvement of local neurons of vmPFC and their catecholaminergic innervations in taste preference and taste reactivity test. Therefore, kainate or 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions were performed in the vmPFC by iontophoretic method. In the first experiment, taste preference was tested to 250 mM and 500 mM glucose solutions over water in two-bottle choice test. In the second experiment, taste reactivity was examined to 4 concentrations of glucose solutions (250 mM, 500 mM, 750 mM and 1000 mM) and 4 concentrations of quinine solutions (0.125 mM, 0.25 mM, 1.25 mM and 2.5 mM). Our results showed, that kainate microlesion of vmPFC did not modify the preference of 250 mM and 500 mM glucose solutions in two-bottle choice test. In contrast, 6-OHDA microlesion of vmPFC resulted in increased preference to the higher concentration of glucose (500 mM) solution over water. Results of taste reactivity test showed that kainate lesion resulted in more ingestive and less rejective responses to 750 mM glucose solution and elevated rejectivity to the higher concentrations (1.25 mM and 2.5 mM) of quinine solutions. 6-OHDA lesion of vmPFC increased the number of ingestive responses to highly concentrated (500 mM, 750 mM and 1000 mM) glucose solutions and decreased the number of ingestive responses to the lower concentration (0.125 mM) of quinine solution. The present data provide evidence for the important role of vmPFC neurons and catecholaminergic innervation of the vmPFC in the regulation of hedonic evaluation of tastes and in the hedonic consummatory behavior.
- Taste preference
- Taste reactivity
- Ventromedial prefrontal cortex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience