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

G. Thiefin, Helen E Raybould, F. W. Leung, Y. Tache, P. H. Guth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


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 μmol/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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6 22-6
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • gastric acid secretion
  • hydrogen gas clearance
  • rat
  • vagus nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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