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Shock. 2008 Oct;30(4):468-72. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e31816d5e49.

The protective effect of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway against septic shock in rats.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.


To investigate the effects of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway on hemodynamics, blood biochemistry, the plasma TNF-alpha level, and the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation during septic shock, male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to cecal ligation and puncture (CLP, a model of polymicrobial sepsis) or sham operation. Forty-eight rats were randomly assigned into six equal groups: sham CLP group; CLP group; VGX group was subjected to bilateral cervical vagotomy after CLP; STM group was subjected to bilateral cervical vagotomy after CLP plus the left vagus nerve trunk electrical stimulation; THA group was administered tetrahydroaminoacridine after CLP and bilateral cervical vagotomy; and alpha-BGT group was administered alpha-bungarotoxin before electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve. The right carotid artery was cannulated to monitor MAP. The plasma TNF-alpha level was measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The hepatic NF-kappaB activation was determined by Western blotting. Cecal ligation and puncture produced progressive hypotension. Serum aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase levels significantly increased after CLP challenge. The plasma TNF-alpha level and the hepatic NF-kappaB activation significantly increased after CLP alone or with bilateral cervical vagotomy compared with sham-operated group. Application of constant voltage pulses to the caudal vagus trunk significantly prevented the development of CLP-induced hypotension, alleviated the hepatic damage, and reduced the plasma TNF-alpha production, but electrical stimulation had no effect on the hepatic NF-kappaB activation. Tetrahydroaminoacridine administration after bilateral cervical vagotomy reversed hypotension and attenuated the plasma TNF-alpha response; in addition, it had no effect on the hepatic NF-kappaB activation. alpha-Bungarotoxin pretreatment significantly reversed the inhibitory effect of vagal electrical stimulation, but it had no effect on the hepatic NF-kappaB activation. Our results showed that the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway might produce a potential protective effect on polymicrobial sepsis in rats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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