Salivary cooling, escape reaction and heat pain in capsaicin-desensitized rats

E. Obál, G. Benedek, A. Jancsó-Gábor, F. Obál

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50 Citations (Scopus)


Salivary thermolytic mechanism (weight of salivary glands, effect of desalivation on water intake and body temperature, grooming activity) as well as escape behaviour and reaction to heat pain were studied in capsaicin-desensitized and control rats exposed to various warm ambient temperatures. Body temperature of the desensitized rats increased more than the controls at all the ambient temperatures studied (32, 34 and 36°C); however, significant differences in the mechanism of salivary cooling were obtained only at 34 and 36°C. Central impairment of saliva spreading in desensitized rats seems evident. Complete surgical desalivation did not increase hyperthermia of control and desensitized animals in warm environments. Therefore other mechanisms, primarily vasodilatatory, must also be involved in the rat's thermolytic normal response. Although desensitized rats did not show a tendency to escape from the warm environment their response to heat pain was normal. In conclusion, it is suggested that heat perception in desensitized animals is impaired; however, the existence of some capsaicin-insensitive thermolytic mechanisms (prone extension of the body) cannot be excluded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalPflügers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 1979


  • Body temperature regulation
  • Capsaicin
  • Escape reaction
  • Grooming behavior
  • Heat loss
  • Pain
  • Salivary glands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)

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