Selective stimulation of jugular ganglion afferent neurons in guinea pig airways by hypertonic saline

Karen E. Pedersen, Sonya N. Meeker, Margerita M. Riccio, Bradley J. Undem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluated the ability of hyperosmolar stimuli to activate afferent nerves in the guinea pig trachea and main bronchi and investigated the neural pathways involved. By using electrophysiological techniques, studies in vitro examined the effect of hyperosmolar solutions of sodium chloride (hypertonic saline) on guinea pig airway afferent nerve endings arising from either regal nodose or jugular ganglia. The data reveal a differential sensitivity of airway afferent neurons to activation with hypertonic saline. Afferent fibers (both Aδ and C fibers) with cell bodies located in jugular ganglia were much more sensitive to stimulation with hypertonic saline, compared with afferent neurons with cell bodies located in nodose ganglia. Additional studies in vivo demonstrated that inhalation of aerosols of hypertonic saline induced plasma extravasation in guinea pig trachea that was mediated via tachykinin NK1 receptors. Identification of a differential sensitivity of guinea pig airway afferent nerves to hypertonic saline leads to the speculation that airway responses to hyperosmolar stimuli may result from activation of afferent neurons originating predominantly from the jugular ganglion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-506
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998


  • Asthma
  • Neuropeptides
  • Osmolar concentration
  • Tachykinin
  • Vagus nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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