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Experience-dependent changes in affective valence of taste in male mice

Molecular Brain

Authors: Shun Hamada, Kaori Mikami, Shuhei Ueda, Masashi Nagase, Takashi Nagashima, Mikiyasu Yamamoto, Haruhiko Bito, Sayaka Takemoto-Kimura, Toshihisa Ohtsuka & Ayako M. Watabe
Publication: Molecular Brain
Date: March 11, 2023
Link to article: https://molecularbrain.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13041-023-01017-x


The study conducted by Hamada et al. utilized nVista in vivo calcium imaging to examine the responses of central amygdala (CeA) neurons to sweet, umami, and bitter tastants. This innovative approach provided insights into the neural mechanisms underlying experience-dependent taste preference development. The researchers investigated the effects of prolonged umami and bitter tastant exposure on taste preferences in male mice. They observed that extended umami exposure led to an enhanced umami preference without altering bitter preference, while prolonged bitter exposure decreased bitter avoidance without affecting umami preference. Notably, both Prkcd-positive and Sst-positive neurons in the CeA exhibited similar responses to umami and bitter tastes. Single umami experiences activated the CeA and other gustatory-related nuclei, especially Sst-positive neurons. Interestingly, after prolonged umami exposure, umami tastants activated CeA neurons, particularly Prkcd-positive neurons. These findings suggested a connection between amygdala activity, experience-dependent taste preference development, and the role of specific neural populations.

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