Role of vagal afferents and spinal pathways modulating inhibition of bradykinin-induced plasma extravasation by intrathecal nicotine

J Neurophysiol. 1994 Sep;72(3):1199-207. doi: 10.1152/jn.1994.72.3.1199.


1. Nicotine, a major active component of tobacco smoke, has been shown to modulate the inflammatory response via both peripheral and central nervous system pathways. Recently we found that spinal intrathecal administration of nicotine dose-dependently inhibits bradykinin-induced plasma extravasation (BK-induced PE) in the knee joint of the rat and that the dose-response curve for the inhibition of BK-induced PE by intrathecal nicotine is shifted to the left, by six orders of magnitude, after surgical interventions in the abdominal cavity, which might have interrupted visceral afferents to the neuraxis. Therefore we focused, in this study, on the contribution of the vagal afferents to depression of BK-induced PE by intrathecal nicotine. Furthermore, the effect of acute spinalization at the level C6-C8 was investigated. The hypothesis was that impulse activity in vagal afferents has a pronounced inhibitory effect on the modulation of BK-induced PE by intrathecal nicotine and that spinal pathways are important in mediating this effect. 2. Chronic subdiaphragmatic vagotomy and elimination of vagal afferents, by neonatal capsaicin treatment or by application of kainic acid to the nodose ganglia, enhanced the potency of intrathecal nicotine depression of BK-induced PE, by six to seven orders of magnitude when compared with the control. 3. Acute subdiaphragmatic vagotomy enhanced the potency of intrathecal nicotine-induced depression of BK-induced PE (without changing its maximum effect), by about three to four orders of magnitude when compared with the sham-operated (control) animals (with intact vagus nerves).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Bradykinin / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Bradykinin / pharmacology
  • Capillary Permeability / drug effects*
  • Capillary Permeability / physiology
  • Capsaicin / pharmacology
  • Injections, Spinal
  • Knee Joint / innervation
  • Male
  • Mecamylamine / pharmacology
  • Medulla Oblongata / drug effects
  • Medulla Oblongata / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition / drug effects*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Nicotine / pharmacology*
  • Perfusion
  • Plasma / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Spinal Cord / drug effects*
  • Spinal Cord / physiology
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / drug effects
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology
  • Vagus Nerve / drug effects*
  • Vagus Nerve / physiology
  • Viscera / innervation


  • Mecamylamine
  • Nicotine
  • Capsaicin
  • Bradykinin