Capsaicin-sensitive afferent fibers contribute to gastric mucosal blood flow response to electrical vagal stimulation

Am J Physiol. 1990 Dec;259(6 Pt 1):G1037-43. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.1990.259.6.G1037.


Electrical stimulation of the peripheral vagus produces a noncholinergic increase in gastric mucosal blood flow (GMBF) via unknown mechanisms. The purpose of this study was 1) to investigate whether a portion of the increase in GMBF during prolonged electrical vagal stimulation involves a mechanism separate from augmented acid secretion and 2) to determine whether antidromic activation of afferent fibers contributes to the vascular or secretory responses to electrical vagal stimulation. Electrical vagal stimulation (40 V, 6 Hz, 2 ms) applied for 30 min to the distal cut end of the subdiaphragmatic ventral vagus significantly increased gastric acid secretion and GMBF measured by hydrogen gas clearance. Atropine (0.15 mg/kg iv) or omeprazole (10 mumol/kg iv) completely abolished the secretory response to electrical vagal stimulation, while a significant increase in GMBF remained. Pretreatment with perineural application of the sensory neurotoxin capsaicin to both cervical vagi significantly reduced by 48% the increase in GMBF but not gastric acid secretion; atropine completely abolished the remaining vascular response in capsaicin-treated rats. These results suggest that prolonged electrical vagal stimulation induces a sustained increase in GMBF partially independent of augmented acid secretion and that the noncholinergic portion of the vascular response is mediated by capsaicin-sensitive vagal afferent fibers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / drug effects
  • Afferent Pathways / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Atropine / pharmacology
  • Capsaicin / pharmacology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Gastric Acid / metabolism
  • Gastric Mucosa / blood supply*
  • Gastric Mucosa / drug effects
  • Gastric Mucosa / innervation
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Nerve Fibers / drug effects
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology*
  • Omeprazole / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Regional Blood Flow / drug effects
  • Vagus Nerve / physiology*


  • Atropine
  • Omeprazole
  • Capsaicin