Transection of gustatory nerves differentially affects dietary fat intake in obesity-prone and obesity-resistant rats

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Chemical Senses


The current prevalence of obesity has been linked to the consumption of highly palatable foods and may be mediated by a dysregulated or hyposensitive orosensory perception of dietary fat, thereby contributing to the susceptibility to develop obesity. The goal of the current study was to investigate the role of lingual taste input in obesity-prone (OP, Osborne-Mendel) and obesity-resistant (OR, S5B/Pl) rats on the consumption of a high-fat diet (HFD). Density of fungiform papillae was assessed as a marker of general orosensory input. To determine if orosensory afferent input mediates dietary fat intake, surgical transection of the chorda tympani and glossopharyngeal nerves (GLX/CTX) was performed in OP and OR rats and HFD caloric intake and body weight were measured. Fungiform papillae density was lower in OP rats, compared with OR rats. GLX/CTX decreased orosensory input in both OP and OR rats, as measured by an increase in the intake of a bitter, quinine solution. Consumption of low-fat diet was not altered by GLX/CTX in OP and OR rats; however, GLX/CTX decreased HFD intake in OR, without altering HFD intake in OP rats. Overall, these data suggest that inhibition of orosensory input in OP rats do not decrease fat intake, thereby supporting that idea that hyposensitive and/or dysregulated orosensory perception of highly palatable foods contribute to the susceptibility to develop obesity.

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