Mechanisms underlying the hypertensive response induced by capsaicin

Int J Cardiol. 2010 Nov 19;145(2):358-359. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2010.02.034. Epub 2010 Mar 11.


Acute ingestion of large quantity of chili peppers (rich source of capsaicin) produced hypertensive crisis in a patient. The hypertensive response was explained on the basis of decreased vasodilator substance calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) from sensory nerve terminals by capsaicin. Here we present our experimental observations in anaesthetized rats regarding the mechanisms underlying hypertensive response induced by capsaicin. Our results demonstrate non-involvement of adrenergic and angiotensinergic mechanisms and also the cardiac changes in producing the response. Thus, the direct action of capsaicin on vascular smooth muscle or the activation of endothelin is proposed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / deficiency
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / metabolism
  • Capsaicin / toxicity*
  • Capsicum / adverse effects
  • Hypertension / chemically induced*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Rats
  • Vasodilation / drug effects
  • Vasodilation / physiology


  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Capsaicin