An electrophysiological investigation of the oro-pharyngeal (IX–X) taste system in the channel catfish,Ictalurus punctatus
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The chemospecificities of the oropharyngeal taste buds innervated by the glossopharyngeal (IX) and vagus (X) nerves were similar; both (IX) and (X) taste systems were highly responsive tol-alanine andl-arginine which have been shown to be the most effective stimuli of the facial (VII) taste system.
The integrated phasic gustatory responses generally increased exponentially with logarithmic increase in stimulus concentration over a wide concentration range (4 to 6 log units).
Thresholds forl-alanine andl-arginine averaged (in mol/l) 10−7.4±0.3 (IX) and 10−7.0±0.4 (X) and 10−8.0±0.2 (IX) and 10−6.9±0.4 (X) (mean±S.E.) respectively; for all other amino acids tested thresholds were ≧10−6 mol/l.
Among the various conventional taste stimuli tested (sodium chloride, sucrose, hydrochloric acid and quinine hydrochloride), quinine was the most stimulatory with thresholds ranging between micromolar and nanomolar concentrations.
Cross-adaptation experiments suggested the presence of relatively independent receptor mechanisms for at least four of the compounds tested:l-alanine,l-arginine hydrochloride,l-proline and quinine hydrochloride.
The majority of fiber bundles in both the glossopharyngeal and vagal nerves were highly sensitive to tactile stimulation. Tonically firing proprioceptive units with response frequencies dependent on the position of a gill arch were observed.
Muscle contractions were observed following the application of high concentrations of certain stimuli (l-arginine and sodium chloride), indicating the chemospecific nature of such reflexes with a possible role in swallowing or rejection of potential food material.
These data in conjunction with reports on the facial (VII) taste system indicate that similar amino acids may provide important cues for both food searching and ingestive behaviours in the channel catfish.
KeywordsSodium Chloride Quinine Channel Catfish Tactile Stimulation Wide Concentration Range
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