Cross fostering between normal and sodium-restricted rats: Effects on peripheral gustatory function

L. M. Phillips, R. E. Stewart, D. L. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Rats restricted of dietary NaCl prenatally and thereafter exhibit abnormally low electrophysiological chorda tympani taste responses to sodium stimuli as adults. Recovery of responses can be induced by ingestion of NaCl, even at adulthood. To examine whether milk from sodium-replete mothers enables functional recovery in sodium-restricted rats, we recorded multifiber chorda tympani responses in adult animals that had been cross fostered during the suckling period. Sodium-restricted animals cross fostered to control dams for postnatal weeks 1 and 2 did not recover normal sodium sensitivity. Surprisingly, control pups crossed to sodium-restricted mothers from postnatal days 1 to 14 showed an exaggerated response to NaCl as adults. These results indicate that milk from normal mothers ingested during postnatal weeks 1 and 2 is not sufficient to restore gustatory function in sodium-restricted rats. Importantly, it also appears that events occurring during the early suckling period of control rats determine long-term taste sensitivities to sodium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R603-R607
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3 38-3
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • amiloride
  • chorda tympani nerve
  • electrophysiology
  • growth and development
  • milk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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