Lesions of the central nucleus of the amygdala. I: Effects on taste reactivity, taste aversion learning and sodium appetite

Behav Brain Res. 1993 Dec 31;59(1-2):11-7. doi: 10.1016/0166-4328(93)90146-h.


Bilateral damage to the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeAX) in the rat blunts need-induced NaCl intake and abolishes daily need-free NaCl intake when measured with a two-bottle test. Such a deficit could be the result of impaired taste function. To assess the taste function of the CeAX rat various taste stimuli were introduced directly into the oral cavity and taste-elicited oral motor responses were measured. Oral motor responses elicited by 0.62 M and 0.13 M sodium chloride, 0.3 M sucrose and 0.01 M citric acid, were similar in control and CeAX rats. Additionally CeAX and control rats acquired a taste aversion for fructose or maltose when either was paired with LiCl. Finally, in CeAX rats, like in control rats, the pattern of oral motor responses to 0.5 M NaCl was dependent on internal state; sodium depletion dramatically altered taste-elicited oral motor behavior. These results suggest that, in the rat, the deficits in NaCl intake behavior that follow CeAX do not appear to be a result of dramatic changes in gustatory function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / anatomy & histology
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Appetite / drug effects*
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Lithium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mouth / physiology
  • Movement / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Pons / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sodium, Dietary / pharmacology*
  • Taste / physiology*


  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Lithium Chloride