Femoral artery occlusion augments TRPV1-mediated sympathetic responsiveness

Jihong Xing, Zhaohui Gao, Jian Lu, Lawrence I. Sinoway, Jianhua Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Muscle metabolic by-products stimulate thin fiber muscle afferent nerves and evoke reflex increases in blood pressure and sympathetic nerve activity. Previous studies reported that chemically sensitive transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) channels present on sensory muscle afferent neurons have an important impact on sympathetically mediated cardiovascular responses. The reflex-mediated reduction in blood flow to skeletal muscle leads to limited exercise capacity in patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease. Thus, in this study, we tested the hypothesis that the expression of enhanced TRPV1 receptor and its responsiveness in primary afferent neurons innervating muscles initiate exaggerated reflex sympathetic responses after vascular insufficiency to the muscle. Muscle vascular insufficiency was induced by the femoral artery ligation in rats for 24 h. Our data show that 1) the ligation surgery leads to the upregulation of TRPV1 expression in the dorsal root ganglion; 2) the magnitude of the dorsal root ganglion neuron TRPV1 response induced by capsaicin is greater in vascular insufficiency (4.0 ± 0.31 nA, P < 0.05 vs. sham-operated control) than that in sham-operated control (2.9 ± 0.23 nA); and 3) renal sympathetic nerve activity and mean arterial pressure responses to capsaicin (0.5 μg/kg body wt) are also enhanced by vascular insufficiency (54 ± 11%, 9 ± 2 mmHg in sham-operated controls vs. 98 ± 13%, 33 ± 5 mmHg after vascular insufficiency, P < 0.05). In conclusion, sympathetic nerve responses to the activation of metabolite-sensitive TRPV1 receptors are augmented in rats with the femoral artery occlusion compared with sham-operated control animals, due to alterations in the expression of TRPV1 receptor and its responsiveness in sensory neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1262-H1269
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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