Perinatal Sodium Chloride Intake Modifies the Fluid Intake of Adult Rats

  • Robert J. Contreras
  • Edythe Bird
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 105)


Our interest is in determining whether differences in early salt intake produce long-term changes in intake in the rat. Perinatal salt consumption may influence long-term intake either through changes in taste sensitivity or through changes in the regulatory mechanisms mediating salt and water balance. Both taste and regulatory mechanisms only gradually acquire typical adult structural and functional characteristics over the course of development, providing a possible basis for plasticity in intake control mechanisms. With regard to taste, taste buds begin to appear during the last trimester of pregnancy and develop to their adult form by 14 days after birth1. Furthermore, electrophysiological studies of taste afferents suggest that salt taste sensitivity changes during development2,3,4,5. The regulatory mechanisms for maintaining salt and water balance are also in transition to their adult form during prenatal and early postnatal life6,7.


Sodium Intake Salt Diet Taste Sensitivity High Salt Condition Salt Consumption 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Contreras
    • 1
  • Edythe Bird
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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