Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation attenuates cytokines

Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation attenuates proinflammatory cytokines and augments antioxidant levels in the brainstem and forebrain regions of Dahl salt sensitive rats.

The anti-inflammatory effects of vagus nerve stimulation are well known. It has recently been shown that low-level, transcutaneous stimulation of vagus nerve at the tragus (LLTS) reduces cardiac inflammation in a rat model of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). The mechanisms by which LLTS affect the central neural circuits within the brain regions that are important for the regulation of cardiac vagal tone are not clear. Female Dahl salt-sensitive rats were initially fed with either low salt (LS) or high salt (HS) diet for a period of 6 weeks, followed by sham or active stimulation (LLTS) for 30 min daily for 4 weeks. To study the central effects of LLTS, four brainstem (SP5, NAb, NTS, and RVLM) and two forebrain sites (PVN and SFO) were examined. HS diet significantly increased the gene expression of proinflammatory cytokines in the SP5 and SFO. LLTS reversed HS diet-induced changes at both these sites. Furthermore, LLTS augmented the levels of antioxidant Nrf2 in the SP5 and SFO. Taken together, these findings suggest that LLTS has central anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could mediate the neuromodulation of cardiac vagal tone in the rat model of HFpEF.

PMID: 33067477 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Sci Rep. 2020 Oct 16;10(1):17576

Authors: Subramanian M, Edwards L, Melton A, Branen L, Herron A, Sivasubramanian MK, Monteiro R, Stansbury S, Balasubramanian P, Morris L, Elkholey K, Niewiadomska M, Stavrakis S




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