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Vagotomy blocks responses to vaginocervical stimulation after genitospinal neurectomy in rats

Authors
Journal
Physiology & Behavior
0031-9384
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
60
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0031-9384(95)02245-7
Keywords
  • Vagus Nerve
  • Pelvic Nerve
  • Hypogastric Nerve
  • Pudendal Nerve
  • Vagina
  • Cervix Analgesia
  • Pupil Dilatation

Abstract

Abstract To ascertain whether any effects of vaginocervical stimulation (VS) are mediated by the vagus nerve, all known afferent nerves from the reproductive tract to the spinal cord were transected and the rats were tested for residual responses to VS. After combined bilateral transection of the pelvic, hypogastric, and pudendal nerves (NX), the following responses to VS were greatly reduced or abolished: lordosis to flank-perineum palpation, leg extension, immobilization, and blockage of both tail withdrawal to radiant heat and leg withdrawal to foot pinch. However, after these nerve cuts, the following persisted as significant residual responses to VS: 1) analgesia [measured as increase in vocalization threshold (VOCT) to tailshock], 2) pupil dilatation (PD), and 3) increase in heart rate (HR). Subsequent bilateral subdiaphragmatic vagotomy (VX) significantly reduced the magnitude of PD and abolished the analgesia. By contrast, VX produced no significant effect on the HR increase to VS. The above findings provide evidence that brain-mediated responses to vaginocervical stimulation can be elicited via the vagus nerves.

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