Effects of capsaicin pretreatment on neuropeptides and salivary secretion of rat parotid glands
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Lund University, Sölvegatan 19, S-223 62, Lund, Sweden
- 1‘Atropine-resistant’ secretion of saliva in response to parasympathetic stimulation may reflect antidromic activation of sensory nerve fibres. In this investigation, the effect of pretreatment in the rat with capsaicin (total dose of 125 mg kg−1, s.c.), was determined.
- 2In the parotid glands substance P (SP)/calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-containing nerve fibres around ducts and blood vessels disappeared after capsaicin, while periacinar SP-containing fibres (devoid of CGRP) and CGRP-containing fibres (devoid of SP) remained. Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)-containing nerve fibres seemed to be unaffected. The parotid content of SP and CGRP was reduced by 11 and 36% respectively, while that of VIP remained unchanged.
- 3The weights of the parotid glands and their sensitivity to the secretagogues methacholine and SP, injected intravenously, were unchanged as was the response to stimulation of the auriculo-temporal nerve in the presence and absence of atropine.
- 4In contrast to capsaicin pretreatment, parasympathetic denervation of the parotid gland reduced the weight of the gland and produced an increase in the response to methacholine and SP.
- 5For comparison, the effectiveness of the capsaicin treatment on neuropeptide content was determined in the urinary bladder. The bladder of capsaicin-pretreated rats increased in weight (21%) and in VIP content (31%), while the content of SP and CGRP was reduced by 86 and 94%, respectively. SP- and CGRP-containing nerve fibres were virtually eliminated, while VIP-containing nerve fibres seemed unaffected.
- 6In conclusion, antidromic activation of primary afferent (capsaicin-sensitive) C-fibres does not contribute significantly to the ‘atropine-resistant’ secretory response of the parotid gland to stimulation of the parasympathetic nerve.