Effects of chlorhexidine rinse on salt taste in human and hamster: Psychophysical, immunohistochemical and electrophysiological studies

2006 2006

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Abstract (summary)

One of the side effects of chlorhexidine use is alteration of taste perception in humans. The objectives of these experiments are to evaluate the effects of chlorhexidine on salt taste perception in humans, to study the effect of chlorhexidine on the structure of the lingual taste cells and to evaluate the effect of chlorhexidine on the chorda tympani nerve responses in hamsters. Eight salts with equal intensity were selected for study (NaBr, KBr, CaBr 2, MgBr2, Na2SO4, K2SO 4, CaCl2, and MgSO4), sucrose and water. Ten subjects participated in the taste confusion matrix (TCM) experiment. Whole mouth "sip and spit" methodology was adopted. Data analyzed were percent correct, and the information theory measures, T2 & T10. Results indicated, relative to water, three 1-minute rinses with 1.34 mM chlorhexidine disrupted the taste qualities of all the monovalent salts (P<0.0001) tested, sparing 3 of 4 the divalent salts.

The effect of a five-minute 1.34 mM chlorhexidine application on lingual epithelium taste cell morphology was studied with a series of immunohistochemistry experiments in 12 golden hamsters. Specific taste cell marker protein antibodies for type I, II, and III mammalian taste cells (ESPIN, NCAM, PLCβ2, and IP3RIII) were used to distinguish taste cells from other non-taste epithelial cells. Light microscope data indicated there was no structural changes in the taste cells and no difference in the amount of fluorescence emitted per unit area from treated (chlorhexidine) and untreated (water) tongue tissues (p>0.05).

Two electrophysiological integrated chorda tympani (CT) nerve recording experiments were conducted. The first experiment was conducted on 6 golden hamsters to evaluate the effect of rinse time with ascending concentrations of chlorhexidine (0.3, 1.0, 3.0 mM) on CT nerve activity. Data indicated that both rinse time and concentration affected the basal activity of the chorda tympani nerve (p< 0.03 and p< 0.002, respectively). The effects of 1.34 mM chlorhexidine (Peridex®) on CT nerve responses to stimuli used in the TCM were evaluated in a second experiment. Data indicated that there was a trend for chlorhexidine to reduce the chorda tympani nerve responses elicited by the TCM stimuli (p = 0.06).

Indexing (details)

Anatomy & physiology;
0317: Neurology
0564: Surgery
0719: Anatomy & physiology
0982: Immunology
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Biological sciences; Chlorhexidine; Electrophysiological; Immunohistochemical; Psychophysical; Salt; Taste
Effects of chlorhexidine rinse on salt taste in human and hamster: Psychophysical, immunohistochemical and electrophysiological studies
Johar, Aiman Othman
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 67/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Frank, Marion
University of Connecticut
University location
United States -- Connecticut
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
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