The electrical properties of gustatory cells and cells which do not respond to chemical stimuli in the taste bud of fungiform papillae in rats were studied by means of intracellular microelectrodes. Neither of these cell types showed spike electrogenesis. Gustatory cells showed a depolarization, the receptor potential, associated with an increase in the membrane conductance in response to NaCl, sucrose, and HCl, whereas quinine produced a decrease in the conductance together with an increase in the receptor potential magnitude. The reversal point of the receptor potential in response to NaCl or KCl was close to zero membrane potential, but in the case of quinine it was at a more negative potential level than the resting potential. From these results two receptive processes are postulated in the gustatory cell membrane. When the gustatory cells were stimulated for a long duration by concentrated NaCl or sucrose, receptor potentials showed adaptation with decrease in magnitude, but adaptation of the responses to HCl and quinine were hardly detected. Adaptation of the receptor potential was not correlated with conductance change.

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