Cough reflex sensitization from esophagus and nose

Michal Hennel, Mariana Brozmanova, Marian Kollarik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The diseases of the esophagus and nose are among the major factors contributing to chronic cough although their role in different patient populations is debated. Studies in animal models and in humans show that afferent C-fiber activators applied on esophageal or nasal mucosa do not initiate cough, but enhance cough induced by inhaled irritants. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that activation of esophageal and nasal C-fibers contribute to cough reflex hypersensitivity observed in chronic cough patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and chronic rhinitis, respectively. The afferent nerves mediating cough sensitization from the esophagus are probably the neural crest-derived vagal jugular C-fibers. In addition to their responsiveness to high concentration of acid typical for gastroesophageal reflux (pH <5), esophageal C-fibers also express receptors for activation by weakly acidic reflux such as receptors highly sensitive to acid and receptors for bile acids. The nature of sensory pathways from the nose and their activators relevant for cough sensitization are less understood. Increased cough reflex sensitivity was also reported in many patients with GERD or rhinitis who do not complain of cough indicating that additional endogenous or exogenous factors may be required to develop chronic coughing in these diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-121
Number of pages5
JournalPulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume35
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Capsaicin
  • Cough
  • Nociceptor
  • Postnasal drip
  • Rhinosinusitis
  • Vagus nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Biochemistry, medical

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