Changes in sucrose and quinine taste reactivity patterns in infant rat pups after exposure to the other tastant.


The taste reactivity test is considered as an objective measure to assess the hedonic impact of tastes. Both the appetitive and aversive pattern of responses are plastic and can change based on previous experience. The present study assessed the repertoire of taste responses elicited by sucrose and quinine in preweanling rats, and described changes in these taste reactivity patterns after exposure to the other tastant. We exposed infant rats (17 days old at the start of training) to sweet (2% sucrose) or bitter (0.01% quinine) tastants during 4, 10-min trials in two different random sequences. The subjects were weighed before and after each trial to provide a measure of percent body weight gained. The following taste reactivity responses were registered: duration of mouthing and paw lick, frequency of chin rub, head shake and flailing of the forelimbs, frequency and duration of face washing, wall climbing and paw tread. The consummatory and affective taste responses changed depending on the order in which the solutions were administered. The order of exposure to the tastants did not affect the levels of sucrose intake. Conversely, rat pups showed more ingestive, and fewer aversive, responses to the sweet tastant when access to the solution followed the intraoral infusion of quinine. Likewise, intraoral delivery of quinine elicited a more aversive taste reactivity pattern when delivered after the access to sucrose than when presented to sucrose-naïve pups. This research contributes to the analysis of taste reactivity responses during the early ontogeny of the rat and highlights the importance of previous experiences on the subsequent assessment of rewards.

DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.03.040

Cite this paper

@article{Surez2017ChangesIS, title={Changes in sucrose and quinine taste reactivity patterns in infant rat pups after exposure to the other tastant.}, author={Andrea B Su{\'a}rez and M C Ifr{\'a}n and Ricardo Marcos Pautassi and Giselle Vanesa Kamenetzky}, journal={Appetite}, year={2017}, volume={114}, pages={259-264} }