Acute anosmia in the mouse: behavioral discrimination among the four basic taste substances

Physiol Behav. 2001 Feb;72(3):291-6. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9384(00)00441-8.


The importance of taste and smell in discrimination of tastes was examined in normal and anosmic mice. We studied the influence of olfaction on taste sensation using behavioral and electrophysiological methods in both normal animals and animals made anosmic mice by destroying their olfactory receptor cells with zinc sulfate (ZnSO(4)) solution. Electrophysiological responses from chorda tympani nerves showed that peripheral taste receptor cells transmitted taste signals normally to the central nervous system, even when the olfactory senses were abnormal. Behavioral observations showed that mice with abnormal olfaction could not differentiate tastes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chorda Tympani Nerve / cytology
  • Chorda Tympani Nerve / drug effects
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Olfaction Disorders / psychology*
  • Olfactory Mucosa / cytology
  • Olfactory Mucosa / drug effects
  • Smell / physiology
  • Taste / physiology*