Ontogeny of urine preference and its relationship to NH4Cl preference and sodium hunger in suckling rat pups

Micah Leshem, Sonia Del Canho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We chart the postnatal ontogeny of urine preference in the suckling rat. Twelve-day-old sucklings, when offered urine, NH4Cl, or NaCl, ingest more urine and NH4Cl than NaCl. When rendered sodium hungry by ivc renin or by sodium depletion, these sucklings prefer urine and NH4Cl to NaCl, dilute urine, or an NaCl and KCl mineral mix equimolar to urine; however, by 18 days of age, urine and NH4Cl are no longer preferred to NaCl. Hence, urine preference in the suckling may be specific and preparatory for the variety of purposes urine preference serves in the adult rat, and it might guide the pup to urinary sodium in the nest. Since preference for urine and NH4Cl covary during postnatal development, the high preference for NH4Cl in midterm sucklings might be because its ammonium flavor is similar to urine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Ingestion
  • NHCl
  • NaCl
  • Neonate
  • Ontogeny
  • Rat
  • Salt appetite
  • Sodium depletion
  • Urine preference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology

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