Effects of sympathetic stimulation on C-fibre responses in rabbit

B. C. Shyu, B. Olausson, K. H. Huang, E. Widerstrom, S. A. Andersson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Unmyelinated C-fibre responses to electrical stimulation were recorded in common peroneal, sural and tibial nerves of rabbits. Three distinct C elevations, here called C1, C2 and C3, were recorded. C2 is probably of somatic origin because it was depressed due to collision by peripheral stimulation of cutaneous receptors. The conduction velocity of C3 corresponded to that of sympathetic post-ganglionic fibres. During sympathetic trunk stimulation the A-fibre responses were not significantly changed while C responses, especially C2, were reduced in amplitude and slightly delayed. The C-fibre responses were also influenced by intra-arterial infusion of noradrenaline. In most cases, the latency of the response was increased. The effect of sympathetic stimulation was completely blocked by hexamethonium, and partly blocked by phentolamine, an adrenergic α-receptor blocking agent which also blocked the effect of noradrenaline. The findings suggest that there are adrenergic receptors distributed along unmyelinated somatic afferent fibres. Sympathetic activity may release noradrenaline in the peripheral nerve, resulting in changed conductive properties in unmyelinated fibres transmitting sensory information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-84
Number of pages12
JournalActa Physiologica Scandinavica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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