Activation of multiple neuromodulatory systems in alert rats acquiring conditioned taste aversion revealed by positron emission tomography

Satomi Kobayashi, Mie Kajiwara, Yilong Cui, Takeo Sako, Tetsuya Sasabe, Emi Hayashinaka, Yasuhiro Wada, Masayuki Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conditioned taste aversion (CTA) is an essential ability for animals to consume food safely and is regulated by neuromodulatory systems including the dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonin, and acetylcholine systems. However, because few studies focused on a comprehensive understanding of whole-brain activities, how these neuromodulators contribute to the process of CTA remains an open issue. 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) can visualize activated regions within the whole brain simultaneously and noninvasively. This study aimed to understand the mechanisms of CTA, especially focusing on the retrieval process after CTA acquisition by FDG-PET imaging. CTA was established in rats who received an intraoral application of saccharin solution (IOAS) on the first day (Day 1), a LiCl i.p. injection after an IOAS on Day 2, and an IOAS on Day 3 (CTA group). The subtraction images of Day 3 of the SHAM group, which received a 0.9 % NaCl (saline) injection instead of a LiCl on Day 2, from those of Day 3 of the CTA group revealed increases in FDG signals in multiple brain regions including the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, locus coeruleus, dorsal raphe, and nucleus basalis magnocellularis, in addition to the hippocampus and nociception-related regions, including the parabrachial nucleus and solitary nucleus. On the other hand, the visceral pain induced by the LiCl injection increased FDG signals in the primary and secondary somatosensory and insular cortices in addition to the parabrachial nucleus and solitary nucleus. These results suggest that the retrieval process of CTA induces brain regions producing neuromodulators and pain-related brainstem.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148617
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Imaging
  • Memory
  • Neuromodulator
  • Retrieval
  • Taste aversion learning


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