A nonadrenergic vagal inhibitory pathway to feline airways

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Science  11 Apr 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4440, pp. 185-188
DOI: 10.1126/science.7361114


In cats anesthetized with chloralose-pentobarbital and artificially ventilated, electrical stimulation of the caudal end of the cut cervical vagus nerve has a biphasic effect on the bronchoconstriction induced by an intravenous infusion of serotonin. The response consists of a brief augmentation of bronchoconstriction followed by relatively prolonged bronchodilation. After muscarinic receptor blockade with atropine, vagal stimulation causes only bronchodilation. Vagally mediated bronchodilation is not affected by beta adrenergic blockade with propranolol, alpha adrenergic blockade with phenoxybenzamine, or adrenergic neuronal blockade with guanethidine, but is abolished by autonomic ganglionic blockade with hexamethonium. These findings support the conclusion that a nonadrenergic inhibitory nervous system is present in the pulmonary airways of the cat and that the system is supplied by preganglionic fibers in the cervical vagus nerves.