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J Int Med Res. 2018 Jul;46(7):2913-2924. doi: 10.1177/0300060518778951. Epub 2018 Jun 7.

Association of cough hypersensitivity with tracheal TRPV1 activation and neurogenic inflammation in a novel guinea pig model of citric acid-induced chronic cough.

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Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Tongji Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200065, China.


Objective This study was performed to establish a novel model of citric acid-induced chronic cough in guinea pigs and to investigate the pathogenesis of cough hypersensitivity. Methods Healthy conscious guinea pigs inhaled citric acid (0.4 M) for 3 minutes twice daily for 25 days. Cough reactivity was evaluated, substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were detected, and transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) protein expression in the trachea and bronchus was determined. Tracheal and bronchial tissues were examined for TRPV1. Results Inhalation of 0.4 M citric acid increased coughing in a time-dependent manner: coughing peaked at 15 days and reached the lowest level at 25 days. This was accompanied by similar changes in SP, CGRP, and TRPV1 protein expression. TRPV1 was mainly observed in the mucosal and submucosal layer of the trachea and bronchi. The areas of TRPV1 positivity in the trachea and bronchi of citric acid-treated animals were significantly larger than in the control group. Conclusions Repeated inhalation of citric acid can be employed to establish a chronic cough model in guinea pigs. Cough hypersensitivity in this model is related to tracheal TRPV1 activation and neurogenic inflammation.


Chronic cough; animal model; citric acid; concentration; cough hypersensitivity; transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1

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