Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Eugene Delay


taste, chemotherapy, salt taste, cyclophosphamide


Chemotherapy is a common cancer treatment, yet it has many severe side effects including altered taste. Patients report that salt taste is most affected by chemotherapy. The salt taste transduction system has yet to be fully elucidated. Type I taste cells are thought to be responsible in part for salt taste. The goal of this study was to determine how cyclophosphamide (CYP), a common chemotherapeutic agent, affects salt taste in mice. This involved two experiments. The first experiment examined how an induced conditioned taste aversion (CTA) to NaCl (salt) would change following CYP treatment. The second used a brief access test to observe how NaCl preference changed before and after either a single dose or multiple dose CYP treatment. We hypothesized that CYP would affect Type I taste cells leading to changes in salt preference, that CYP would reduce salt aversion, and that multiple doses would affect multiple salt taste cell types leading to more significant changes in salt preference. Our results demonstrated that after treatment, CYP mice had higher NaCl lick rates than control mice. This occurred in two phases, initially around day 8 and again around day 18. CTA mice maintained an aversion to NaCl following treatment, indicating a pathway protected from CYP disturbance. A single CYP injection and multiple CYP injections had the same effects on mice, indicating that this methodology is not useful in disturbing multiple salt taste cell populations. These data support that there are at least two salt taste transduction pathways in mice.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.