An animal model to assess aversion to intra-oral capsaicin: Increased threshold in mice lacking substance P

Christopher T. Simons, Jean Marc Dessirier, Steven L. Jinks, Earl Carstens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite the widespread consumption of products containing chemicals that irritate the oral mucosa, little is known about the underlying neural mechanisms nor is there a corresponding animal model of oral irritation. We have developed a rodent model to assess aversion to capsaicin in drinking water, using a paired preference paradigm. This method was used to test the hypothesis that the neuromodulator substance P (SP) plays a role in the detection of intra-oral capsaicin. 'Knockout' (KO) mice completely lacking SP and neurokinin A due to a disruption of the preprotachykinin A gene and a matched population of wild-type (WT) mice had free access to two drinking bottles, one containing water and the other capsaicin at various concentrations. Both KO and WT mice showed a concentration-dependent aversion to capsaicin. KO mice consumed significantly more capsaicin than WT at a single near threshold (1.65 μM) concentration, indicating that SP plays a limited role in the detection and rejection of oral irritants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-497
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Senses
Volume26
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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