Effects of gymnemic acid on the chorda tympani proper nerve responses to sweet, sour, salty and bitter taste stimuli in the chimpanzee

G. HELLEKANT, C. HÅRD AF SEGERSTAD, T. ROBERTS, H. VAN DER WEL, J. N. BROUWER, D. GLASER, R. HAYNES, J. W. EICHBERG

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50 Scopus citations

Abstract

In man gymnemic acid is able to abolish the sweet taste. Also in man, the neural correlate of that effect is a disappearance of the response to sweet stimuli in the taste nerves, as indicated by the observations of Diamant et al. (1965). Although a variety of other mammals also show neural responses to sweet‐tasting compounds, the corresponding effect of gymnemic acid has not been demonstrated. This study presents chorda tympani proper nerve recordings from the chimpanzee before and after gymnemic acid. On the chimpanzee tongue, application of 2 ml gymnemic acid (3–10 mg·ml‐1 for 3–4 min) completely abolished the taste responses to 0.0035 M acesulfam‐K, 0.0018 M aspartame, 0.015 M D‐tryptophan, 0.02% monellin, and 0.02% thaumatin, reduced by 75% the response to 0.3 M sucrose, and by 50% that of 0.76 M xylitol. No decrease was recorded in the responses to 0.001 M quinine, 0.1 M NaCl, 0.02 and 0.04 M ascorbic acid, 0.02 and 0.04 M citric acid. The response to the sweeteners recovered with time and the recovery was complete or nearly complete after one and a half hours. It was also found that after application of 2 ml miraculin, 3 mg·ml‐1 for 3 min to the tongue the neural response to acids was about 1.5 times as large as before. Gymnemic acid applied before miraculin prevented this enhancement and gymnemic acid after miraculin depressed the enhancement by miraculin of the response to citric and ascorbic acid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-408
Number of pages10
JournalActa Physiologica Scandinavica
Volume124
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1985

Keywords

  • ape
  • chorda tympani
  • gymnemic acid
  • sweet
  • taste

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