The insular cortex (IC) has a crucial role in taste recognition memory, including conditioned taste aversion (CTA). CTA is a learning paradigm in which a novel taste stimulus (CS) is associated with gastric malaise (US), inducing aversion to the CS in future encounters. The role of the IC in CTA memory formation has been extensively studied. However, the functional significance of neurotransmitter release during the presentation of taste stimuli and gastric malaise-inducing agents remains unclear. Using microdialysis in free-moving animals, we evaluated simultaneous changes in glutamate, norepinephrine and dopamine release in response to the presentation of an innate appetitive or aversive gustatory novel stimulus, as well as after i.p. administration of isotonic or hypertonic gastric malaise-inducing solutions. Our results demonstrate that the presentation of novel stimuli, regardless of their innate valence, induces an elevation of norepinephrine and dopamine. Administration of a gastric malaise inducing agent (LiCl) promotes an elevation of glutamate regardless of its concentration. In comparison, norepinephrine release is related to the LiCl concentration and its equimolar NaCl control. Additionally, we evaluated their functional role on short and long-term taste aversion memory. Results indicate that the blockade of noradrenergic β1,2 receptors in the IC spares CTA acquisition and memory consolidation. In contrast, blockade of dopamine D1/D5 receptors impaired CTA consolidation, whereas the NMDA receptor blockade impedes both acquisition and consolidation of CTA. These results suggest that dopaminergic and noradrenergic release are related to the salience of conditioned taste stimuli. However, only cortical D1/D5 dopaminergic activity, but not the noradrenergic β1,2 activity, is involved in the acquisition and consolidation of taste memory formation. Additionally, glutamatergic activity signals visceral distress caused by LiCl administration and activates NMDA receptors necessary for the acquisition and consolidation of long-lasting taste aversion memory.
Última actualización: 30/07/2021