Marked antiinflammatory effects of decentralization of the superior cervical ganglia

K. Ramaswamy, R. Mathison, L. Carter, D. Kirk, F. Green, J. S. Davison, D. Befus

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Intravenous challenge with parasite antigens in Nippostrongylus brasiliensis-sensitized rats resulted in anaphylactic shock and, in some animals, death. Surviving animals showed significant drop in mean arterial blood pressure, cardiac output, and blood flow to the trachea, bronchioles, and mesentery. After anaphylaxis, changes in the cellular and protein composition in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALF) were assessed. 8 h after antigen challenge, there was significant influx of inflammatory cells and an increase in the levels of histamine and serum-derived immunoglobulins (IgG and IgM) in BALF. Chemotactic activity for neutrophils was also present in BALF. Once we established this anaphylaxis-induced model of pulmonary inflammation, we sought to determine whether or not the superior cervical ganglia (SCG) modulate this inflammation. We performed bilateral superior cervical ganglionectomy or decentralization of the SCG. Our results show that decentralization significantly reduced mortality (by 68%) after anaphylaxis. Furthermore, the increases in levels of serum-derived proteins, histamine, and influx of cells (especially neutrophils) observed in BALF after anaphylaxis were attenuated by both decentralization and ganglionectomy. By contrast, hemodynamic parameters in the respiratory tract and the presence of neutrophil chemotactic activity in BALF were not influenced by decentralization. Thus, the severity of pulmonary inflammation initiated by systemic anaphylaxis is depressed by bilateral ganglionectomy or decentralization of SCG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1819-1830
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec. 1990


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