Endogenous neurokinins facilitate synaptic transmission in guinea pig airway parasympathetic ganglia

Brendan J. Canning, Sandra M. Reynolds, Linus U. Anukwu, Radhika Kajekar, Allen C. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Neurokinin-containing nerve fibers were localized to guinea pig airway parasympathetic ganglia in control tissues but not in tissues pretreated with capsaicin. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether neurokinins, released during axonal reflexes or after antidromic afferent nerve stimulation, modulate ganglionic synaptic neurotransmission. The neurokinin type 3 (NK3) receptor antagonists SB-223412 and SR-142801 inhibited vagally mediated cholinergic contractions of bronchi in vitro at stimulation voltages threshold for preganglionic nerve activation but had no effect on vagally mediated contractions evoked at optimal voltage or field stimulation-induced contractions. Intracellular recordings from the ganglia neurons revealed that capsaicin-sensitive nerve stimulation potentiated subsequent preganglionic nerve-evoked fast excitatory postsynaptic potentials. This effect was mimicked by the NK3 receptor agonist senktide analog and blocked by SB-223412. In situ, senktide analog markedly increased baseline tracheal cholinergic tone, an effect that was reversed by atropine and prevented by vagotomy or SB-223412. Comparable effects of intravenous senktide analog on pulmonary insufflation pressure were observed. These data highlight the important integrative role played by parasympathetic ganglia and indicate that activation of NK3 receptors in airway ganglia by endogenous neurokinins facilitates synaptic neurotransmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R320-R330
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number2 52-2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Axon reflex
  • Bronchospasm
  • Capsaicin
  • SB-223412
  • SR-142801

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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