Carotid sinus nerve electrical stimulation in conscious rats attenuates systemic inflammation via chemoreceptor activation

Fernanda Machado Santos-Almeida, Gean Domingos-Souza, César A. Meschiari, Laura Campos Fávaro, Christiane Becari, Jaci A. Castania, Alexandre Lopes, Thiago M. Cunha, Davi J.A. Moraes, Fernando Q. Cunha, Luis Ulloa, Alexandre Kanashiro, Geisa C.S.V. Tezini, Helio C. Salgado

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31 Scopus citations


Recent studies demonstrated a critical functional connection between the autonomic (sympathetic and parasympathetic) nervous and the immune systems. The carotid sinus nerve (CSN) conveys electrical signals from the chemoreceptors of the carotid bifurcation to the central nervous system where the stimuli are processed to activate sympathetic and parasympathetic efferent signals. Here, we reported that chemoreflex activation via electrical CSN stimulation, in conscious rats, controls the innate immune response to lipopolysaccharide attenuating the plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and interleukin 6 (IL-6). By contrast, the chemoreflex stimulation increases the plasma levels of anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 10 (IL-10). This chemoreflex anti-inflammatory network was abrogated by carotid chemoreceptor denervation and by pharmacological blockade of either sympathetic - propranolol - or parasympathetic - methylatropine - signals. The chemoreflex stimulation as well as the surgical and pharmacological procedures were confirmed by real-time recording of hemodynamic parameters [pulsatile arterial pressure (PAP) and heart rate (HR)]. These results reveal, in conscious animals, a novel mechanism of neuromodulation mediated by the carotid chemoreceptors and involving both the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6265
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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