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Open AccessArticle

Fatty Acid Lingual Application Activates Gustatory and Reward Brain Circuits in the Mouse

Neurosciences Intégratives et Cliniques EA481, Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté (UBFC), 25000 Besançon, France
Unité Inserm U1234, Université de Rouen/IRIB, Faculté de Médecine et Pharmacie, 76183 Rouen CEDEX, France
Physiologie de la Nutrition & Toxicologie (NUTox), Agro-Sup, UMR U1231 INSERM/Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté (UBFC), 6, Boulevard Gabriel, 21000 Dijon, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(9), 1246;
Received: 12 August 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Taste, Nutrition and Health)
The origin of spontaneous preference for dietary lipids in humans and rodents is debated, though recent compelling evidence has shown the existence of fat taste that might be considered a sixth taste quality. We investigated the implication of gustatory and reward brain circuits, triggered by linoleic acid (LA), a long-chain fatty acid. The LA was applied onto the circumvallate papillae for 30 min in conscious C57BL/6J mice, and neuronal activation was assessed using c-Fos immunohistochemistry. By using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), we also studied the expression of mRNA encoding brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), Zif-268, and Glut-1 in some brain areas of these animals. LA induced a significant increase in c-Fos expression in the nucleus of solitary tract (NST), parabrachial nucleus (PBN), and ventroposterior medialis parvocellularis (VPMPC) of the thalamus, which are the regions known to be activated by gustatory signals. LA also triggered c-Fos expression in the central amygdala and ventral tegmental area (VTA), involved in food reward, in conjunction with emotional traits. Interestingly, we noticed a high expression of BDNF, Zif-268, and Glut-1 mRNA in the arcuate nucleus (Arc) and hippocampus (Hipp), where neuronal activation leads to memory formation. Our study demonstrates that oral lipid taste perception might trigger the activation of canonical gustatory and reward pathways. View Full-Text
Keywords: linoleic acid; gustation; hedonic; BDNF; fat taste; c-Fos; Zif-268; Glut-1 linoleic acid; gustation; hedonic; BDNF; fat taste; c-Fos; Zif-268; Glut-1
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MDPI and ACS Style

Peterschmitt, Y.; Abdoul-Azize, S.; Murtaza, B.; Barbier, M.; Khan, A.S.; Millot, J.-L.; Khan, N.A. Fatty Acid Lingual Application Activates Gustatory and Reward Brain Circuits in the Mouse. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1246.

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