Neural control of vascular permeability: interactions between primary afferents, mast cells, and sympathetic efferents

J Neurophysiol. 1989 Jul;62(1):48-58. doi: 10.1152/jn.1989.62.1.48.


1. This study addressed the contribution of primary afferents, mast cells, and sympathetic efferents to the control of vascular permeability in synovial joints. Extravasation of Evans blue dye into the synovial space was measured by perfusion of the knee joint in the adult rat. Plasma extravasation (PE) was evoked by pharmacologic activation of either unmyelinated primary afferents, mast cells, or sympathetic postganglionic nerve (SPGN) terminals with acute injection of either capsaicin, compound 48/80, or 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), respectively. In otherwise untreated control rats, acute infusion of capsaicin or compound 48/80 produced a brief increase in vascular permeability; infusion of 6-OHDA produced a larger and more prolonged increase. 2. To evaluate the contribution of an interaction of different cellular elements in the joint to PE, we repeated these experiments in rats pretreated with capsaicin, compound 48/80, or 6-OHDA; administered quercetin; or surgically sympathectomized by excision of the lumbar sympathetic chain. Eliminating unmyelinated afferent nerve terminals by neonatal treatment with capsaicin only reduced the increase in PE produced by acute infusion of capsaicin. Degranulating mast cells by pretreatment with compound 48/80, or preventing the degranulation of mast cells by treatment with quercetin, reduced the increase in PE evoked by infusion of either capsaicin or compound 48/80. Finally, sympathectomy, produced by excision of the lumbar sympathetic chain or by pretreatment with 6-OHDA, significantly reduced PE elicited by acute infusion of capsaicin, compound 48/80, or 6-OHDA. 3. Neither infusing substances normally localized to sympathetic efferents nor inducing changes in blood pressure could mimic the profound increase in PE evoked by activation of sympathetic postganglionic neurons with acute infusion of 6-OHDA. Thus norepinephrine produced a significant decrease in PE, adenosine triphosphate produced only a brief increase, neuropeptide Y had no effect, and manipulating blood pressure (either up or down) had no effect on either base-line or 6-OHDA-induced PE. 4. Indomethacin treatment significantly reduced the increase in PE produced by 6-OHDA. This effect of indomethacin was reversed by the addition of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) to the 6-OHDA in the perfusion fluid. This finding implicates prostaglandins (i.e., cyclooxygenase products of arachidonic acid metabolism) in SPGN-dependent generation of PE.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acids / physiology
  • Blood Pressure
  • Capillary Permeability*
  • Efferent Pathways / physiology
  • Hydroxydopamines / physiology
  • Knee Joint / blood supply
  • Knee Joint / innervation
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / physiology
  • Oxidopamine
  • Plasma / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology


  • Arachidonic Acids
  • Hydroxydopamines
  • Oxidopamine