Behavioral Responses of the Chronically Instrumented Sheep Fetus to Chemosensory Stimuli Presented in Utero

Scott R. Robinson, Chi H. Wong, Steven S. Robertson, Peter W. Nathanielsz, William P. Smotherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fetal sheep were surgically prepared on Days 113-114 of gestation with an array of chronic instruments for recording electromyographic data (EMG) in oral-facial, axial, and limb muscles and heart rate (FHR). Fetuses also were fitted with an intraoral catheter for infusion of chemosensory fluids (isotonic saline, quinine, colostrum, sucrose) onto the surface of the tongue. Individual subjects received chemosensory infusions on Days 134-137. Fetuses showed consistent oral responses to quinine and milk, but did not respond to isotonic saline or sucrose. Different patterns of motor responses suggested that fetuses discriminated among different concentrations of quinine. The expression of tachycardia to quinine and bradycardia to milk also suggested differential responding to chemosensory fluids that differ in hedonic qualities. Detailed characterization of fetal responses to these stimuli in utero confirm the functionality of the gustatory system in the sheep fetus near term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-562
Number of pages12
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Volume109
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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