An Examination of the Role of L-Glutamate and Inosine 5′-Monophosphate in Hedonic Taste-Guided Behavior by Mice Lacking the T1R1 + T1R3 Receptor

Abstract
The heterodimeric T1R1 + T1R3 receptor is considered critical for normal signaling of L-glutamate and 5′-ribonucleotides in the oral cavity. However, some taste-guided responsiveness remains in mice lacking one subunit of the receptor, suggesting that other receptors are sufficient to support some behaviors. Here, mice lacking both receptor subunits (KO) and wild-type (WT, both n = 13) mice were tested in a battery of behavioral tests. Mice were trained and tested in gustometers with a concentration series of Maltrin-580, a maltodextrin, in a brief-access test (10-s trials) as a positive control. Similar tests followed with monosodium glutamate (MSG) with and without the ribonucleotide inosine 5′-monophosphate (IMP), but always in the presence of the epithelial sodium channel blocker amiloride (A). Brief-access tests were repeated following short-term (30-min) and long-term (48-h) exposures to MSG + A + IMP and were also conducted with sodium gluconate replacing MSG. Finally, progressive ratio tests were conducted with Maltrin-580 or MSG + A + IMP, to assess appetitive behavior while minimizing satiation. Overall, MSG generated little concentration-dependent responding in either food-restricted WT or KO mice, even in combination with IMP. However, KO mice licked less to the amino acid stimuli, a measure of consummatory behavior in the brief-access tests. In contrast, both groups initiated a similar number of trials and had a similar breakpoint in the progressive ratio task, both measures of appetitive (approach) behavior. Collectively, these results suggest that while the T1R1 + T1R3 receptor is necessary for consummatory responding to MSG (+IMP), other receptors are sufficient to maintain appetitive responding to this “umami” stimulus complex in food-restricted mice.

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