SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
Rats exhibit variability in taste-dependent responses to sucrose octaacetate.
LAURA E. MARTIN1, KRISTEN E. KAY1, ANN-MARIE TORREGROSSA1,2
1SUNY University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, United States/2University at Buffalo Center for Ingestive Behavior Research, Buffalo, NY, United States
   It has been well described in mice that taste responsivity to sucrose octaacetate (SOA) is variable, and depends on allelic variation at the Soa locus; unconditioned licking and nerve (chorda tympani and glossopharyngeal) responses are strongly suppressed in SOA taste-blind mice. We wished to explore potential variability in the taste response to SOA in rats. To do this, we trained rats to complete a modified forced choice task and asked them to discriminate between quinine and SOA. Multiple concentrations of each solution were tested simultaneously, so rats could not discriminate based on intensity of the stimuli. We found that on average, rats showed a weak ability to discriminate between quinine and SOA (64.9 2.63% correct, 50% = chance performance), but their individual ability to discriminate these solutions was variable (48-73%). Following this, we recorded unconditioned licking responses with these same rats to a range of SOA concentrations in a brief-access taste test. Again, rats showed variability in their avoidance of SOA, with some rats rejecting higher concentrations of SOA while others were relatively unaffected (varying from 4-54 licks at 3mM). Despite this, rats showed no significant correlation between discrimination and unconditioned licking (r = 0.210, p = 0.404), indicating that their ability to discriminate SOA from quinine was not related to their avoidance of the stimulus. Finally, we tested these rats in the brief-access taste test, using a range of sucralose concentrations. While animals did exhibit the previously described bimodal preference for sucralose, this was unrelated to their avoidance of SOA (r = 0.021, p = 0.933).

Supported By: R01 DC016869