Exposure of the oral cavity to acidic solutions evokes not only a sensation of sour, but also of sharp or tangy. Acidic substances potentially stimulate both taste buds and acid-sensitive mucosal free nerve endings. Mice lacking taste function (P2X2/P2X3 double-KO mice) refuse acidic solutions similar to wildtype (WT) mice and intraoral infusion of acidic solutions in these KO animals evokes substantial c-Fos activity within orosensory trigeminal nuclei as well as of the nucleus of the solitary tract (nTS) (Stratford, Thompson, et al. 2017). This residual acid-evoked, non-taste activity includes areas that receive inputs from trigeminal and glossopharyngeal peptidergic (CGRP-containing) nerve fibers that express TrpA1 and TrpV1 both of which are activated by low pH. We compared avoidance responses in WT and TrpA1/V1 double-KO (TRPA1/V1Dbl−/−) mice in brief-access behavioral assay (lickometer) to 1, 3, 10, and 30 mM citric acid, along with 100 µM SC45647 and H2O. Both WT and TRPA1/V1Dbl−/− show similar avoidance, including to higher concentrations of citric acid (10 and 30 mM; pH 2.62 and pH 2.36, respectively), indicating that neither TrpA1 nor TrpV1 is necessary for the acid-avoidance behavior in animals with an intact taste system. Similarly, induction of c-Fos in the nTS and dorsomedial spinal trigeminal nucleus was similar in the WT and TRPA1/V1Dbl−/− animals. Taken together these results suggest non-TrpV1 and non-TrpA1 receptors underlie the residual responses to acids in mice lacking taste function.

This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model)