The effects of sodium deprivation for 10 d, a period sufficient to induce sodium appetite, on gustatory nerve discharges in rats were determined. Chorda tympani responses to concentration series of sodium chloride, sucrose, hydrochloric acid, and quinine hydrochloride were recorded and analyzed without the experimenter knowing the animal's deprivation condition. After deprivation, both whole nerve and single nerve fiber responses to sodium chloride were smaller; NaCl-best fibers, those more responsive to sodium chloride than to sucrose, hydrochloric acid, or quinine, were most affected. Thresholds had not changed; however, slopes of the stimulus-response functions for sodium chloride were lowered. Comparable changes in responses to the other stimuli did not occur. These results were discussed with respect to a possible relationship between changes in sodium chloride responsivity and changes in sodium intake, differences between methods of inducing sodium appetite, coding of taste quality and intensity, and mechanisms which might effect the responsivity change.

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