Vagal afferent activation induces salivation and swallowing-like events in anesthetized rats

Hirotaka Ueda, Mayu Suga, Takakazu Yagi, Ikue Kusumoto-Yoshida, Hideki Kashiwadani, Tomoyuki Kuwaki, Shouichi Miyawaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to clarify the effect of vagal afferent activation on salivation and swallowing-like events. Salivation is part of a reflex induced by stimulation of the oral area during feeding or chewing. Recently, we reported that nausea induced by gastroesophageal reflux (GER) activation produced salivation and swallowing in humans. Here, we investigated the ability of visceral sensation to enhance salivation and swallowing in rodents in order to inform the mechanism of GERmediated stomatognathic activation. First, we administered LiCl to anesthetized male rats to induce nausea. LiCl significantly increased salivation and increased the activity of the vagal afferent nerve. Next, we simultaneously recorded salivation and swallowing using an electrode attached to the mylohyoid muscle during vagal afferent stimulation in a physiological range of frequencies. Vagal afferent stimulation significantly increased salivation and swallowing-like events in a frequency-dependent manner. A muscle relaxant, vecuronium bromide, diminished the swallowing-like response but did not affect salivation. These results indicate that visceral sensation induces salivation and swallowing-like events in anesthetized rodents through vagal afferent activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R964-R970
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 21 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Salivation
  • Swallowing
  • Vagal nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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