Sympathetic nerve stimulation influences mucociliary activity in the rabbit maxillary sinus

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The effect of preganglionic sympathetic nerve stimulation on mucociliary activity in the rabbit maxillary sinus was investigated in vivo. Response to nerve stimulation was recorded photoelectrically and expressed as a percentage of the basal mucociliary activity prior to stimulation. Nerve stimulation (15 V, 5 ms) for 60 s at 2, 10 and 20 Hz stimulated mucociliary activity, the maximum increase being 21.1 +/- 1.3% at 20 Hz, an increase that pretreatment with the cholinergic antagonist atropine reduced to 14.5 +/- 2.4%, suggesting that part of the response involves cholinergic mechanisms. Nerve stimulation (10 Hz) of animals pretreated with the beta-adrenoceptor antagonist propranolol reversed the mucociliary response from an increase to a decrease (-10.6 +/- 1.6%), indicating the involvement of beta-receptors in the nerve-evoked increase. Pretreatment with the alpha-adrenoceptor antagonist phentolamine had no effect on response to nerve stimulation. Rabbits given a combined atropine, propranolol and phentolamine blockade manifested decreased mucociliary activity in response to nerve stimulation (-10.6 +/- 2.1%). Guanethidine pretreatment blocked the effect of nerve stimulation on mucociliary activity, including the observed decrease after combined blockade, indicating the effect to be mediated via sympathetic nerve fibres. The decrease in mucociliary activity in response to nerve stimulation after combined cholinergic-, beta-, and alpha-adrenoceptor blockade suggests the presence of a nonadrenergic, non-cholinergic inhibitory mechanism. It is possible that this effect is mediated by release of neuropeptide Y, as intraarterial injections of neuropeptide Y reduce mucociliary activity in the rabbit maxillary sinus, and as neuropeptide Y is released in the upper airways upon sympathetic nerve stimulation.


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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Otorhinolaryngology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-411
JournalActa Physiologica Scandinavica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Publication categoryResearch