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Effects of dopamine, prostaglandins and digitalis on isolated abdominal vagus nerve in rats

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- The abdominal vagus is the major nerve involved in the detection of emetic stimuli. Although afferent vagus nerves are considered to have polymodal properties, depolarization of the vagus nerve is mainly mediated by 5-HT in emesis. We studied direct drug effects on rat abdominal vagus nerve using the grease-gap technique. In this study, we also investigated reactions to various emetic stimuli such as dopamine (DA), prostaglandins (PGs) and digitalis. The abdominal vagus nerves rapidly depolarize with potassium chloride application, rapidly declining towards basal levels by the end of the application. Concentration-related depolarization evoked by DA (1 × 10-8 M to 1 × 10-4 M) showed a pattern, in contrast to potassium, where depolarization occurred approximately 30 s later. PGE1 and PGE2 showed a maximum response to concentration of 1 × 10-5 M and 1 × 10-4 M, respectively. The concentration-related curves of PGE1 are similar in PGE2, in that 1 nM elicited depolarization. Ouabain (1 × 10-9 M to 1 × 10-4 M) induced concentration-dependent depolarization responses on the isolated abdominal vagus nerve. The application of 100 μM ouabain induced prolonged depolarization. We confirmed that the peripheral role of the vagus nerve may be involved in the appearance of emesis caused by DA, PGs and digitalis. The grease gap technique of the isolated abdominal vagus nerve is a useful technique for screening the emetic agents.


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