The possible interaction among different sensory units in the frog tongue was studied using several single papillae dually innervated by the medial and lateral branches of the glossopharyngeal (IXth) nerve. The afferent activity in one branch exposed to NaCl stimulation of the papilla revealed marked inhibition after antidromic electrical stimulation (100 Hz, 30 s, and 3 V) of the other branch. The degree of inhibition depended on the number of sensory responses observed in the electrically stimulated branch as well as the nature of the stimulated sensory units. Statistical analysis suggested that antidromic activation of gustatory units conducting the responses to NaCl and quinine and slowly adapting mechanosensitive units produced a large antidromic inhibition amounting to 19-25%, but that of gustatory units conducting the responses to acetic acid and rapidly adapting mechanosensitive units gave rise to only a slight inhibition. To examine the differential effects of these sensory units in antidromic inhibition, antidromic impulses were evoked by chemical stimulation of the adjacent papilla neuronally connected with the dually innervated papilla under study. Antidromic volleys of impulses elicited by NaCl or quinine stimulation produced a large inhibition of the afferent activity in the other branch, as induced by NaCl stimulation of the dually innervated papilla. Plausible mechanisms of synaptic interaction in peripheral gustatory systems are considered.

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