The ability of homotypic cortical tissue grafts to induce recovery of function after a gustatory neocortex (GN) lesion was studied using the conditioned taste aversion (CTA) paradigm. On acquisition day, 26 GN-lesioned and 8 sham-lesioned rats were presented with a saccharin solution, followed by an injection of the illness-inducing agent lithium chloride (LiCl). On the test day, 2 days later, saccharin was presented again. The GN-lesioned rats showed significantly less aversion to saccharin on the test day, indicating that the lesion impaired their ability to form taste-illness association. Nine of the lesioned rats were then bilaterally transplanted with fetal GN tissue. Nine weeks after the transplantation, the rats were presented with a LiCl solution, which served as both a tastant and an illness-inducing agent. An NaCl solution, which tasted very similar to the LiCl solution, was used to test the CTA to salt 3 days later. The nontransplanted rats consumed significantly more LiCl than the transplanted and sham-operated rats on the acquisition day, but both transplanted and nontransplanted rats consumed more NaCl than sham-operated rats on the test day. Nissl and Golgi stainings showed numerous somata and extensive arborization of neurons within the grafts. The results indicate that fetal GN grafts can restore the ability to integrate gustatory and visceral inputs but not to form long-lasting taste-illness associations.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research was supported by grants NIH NS 11618 and Program Project HD 05958 to J. Garcia, and grant NIH NS 07628 to J. C. Liebeskind. Qequests for reprints should be addressed to Raz Yirmiya, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024.
- Conditioned taste aversion
- Golgi staining
- Gustatory neocortex
- Neurol tissue transplantation
- Sensory integration