Depressed ventilatory reflexes after capsaicin challenge in streptozotocin-treated rats

Dale R. Bergren, Marc S. Rendell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Diabetic sensory neuropathy is an affliction that decreases sensory perception in a number of organ systems. Although little is known of its pulmonary effects certain diabetic patients have reduced airway reactivity to cold air and elevated cough threshold to irritant inhalation, reflexes reported to be mediated by pulmonary C-fibers. Therefore we studied the effects the selective C-fiber activator capsaicin (0.01% aerosol, 30 s) on variables of ventilation using a whole-body plethysmograph in age-matched rats treated with streptozotocin (STZ) or its vehicle at 6 and 12 weeks after treatment. Body weight increased and plasma glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin were stable in vehicle-treated rats. In STZ-treated rats body weight decreased and plasma glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin increased. Capsaicin challenge decreased tidal volume, respiratory rate and therefore minute ventilation in non-treated and vehicle-treated rats. However capsaicin challenge increased tidal volume thereby altering minute ventilation in STZ-treated rats. Specific airway resistance increased in both groups after capsaicin challenge. Changes in ventilation in response to capsaicin challenge in STZ-treated rats may involve C-fiber sensory neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2103-2116
Number of pages14
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 10 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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