Increased rat serum corticosterone suggests immunomodulation by stimulation of the vagal nerve
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Journal of neuroimmunology. - Amsterdam
, p. 102-105
The role of the vagal nerve within the immune system has not been fully elucidated. Vagal afferents connect to several central nervous system structures, including the hypothalamus. We investigated the effect of vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) on serum corticosterone levels in rats. Corticosterone levels were measured following 1 h of high frequency (30 Hz) or low frequency (1 Hz) VNS in awake animals. There was a significant increase (p < 0.05) in serum corticosterone levels following 30 Hz VNS compared to 1 Hz VNS or sham stimulation. These results suggest an immediate effect of VNS on the hypothalamic pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and support the role of the vagal nerve in immunomodulation.