Korean Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology, Vol.15(6) : 437~443, 2011
Salt signals in tongue are relayed to the nucleus of the solitary tract (NST). This signaling is very important to determine whether to swallow salt-related nutrition or not and suggests some implications in discrimination of salt concentration. Salt concentration-dependent electrical responses in the chorda tympani and the NST were well reported. But salt concentration-dependency and spatial distribution of c-Fos in the NST were not well established. In the present study, NaCl signaling in the NST was studied in urethane-anesthetized rats. The c-Fos immunoreactivity in the six different NST areas along the rostral-caudal axis and six subregions in each of bilateral NST were compared between applications of distilled water and different concentrations of NaCl to the tongue of experimental animals. From this study, salt stimulation with high concentration (1.0 M NaCl) induced significantly higher c-Fos expression in intermediate NST and dorsal-medial and dorsal-middle subregions of the NST compared to distilled water stimulation. The result represents the specific spatial distribution of salt taste perception in the NST.