The effect of capsaicin on afferent nerves and temperature regulation of mammals and birds

Fr K. Pierau, J. Szolcsányi, H. Sann

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4 Citations (Scopus)


1. 1.|The impairment of nociception, warm reception and temperature regulation by capsaicin relates to the particular effect of the drug upon unmyelinated sensory nerve fibres which contain substance P and/or somatostatin. 2. 2.|Capsaicin also activates and subsequently desensitizes warm sensitive neurones in the hypothalamus, which contributes to impaired temperature regulation at high ambient temperatures. 3. 3.|Birds are highly insensitive to capsaicin. The threshold concentration for nociceptive reactions is about 1000-10,000 times that of mammals; temperature regulation was not impaired by doses up to 1 g/kg body weight. 4. 4.|The resistance of birds to capsaicin might be due to functional differences between mammals and birds in neuropeptide-containing neurones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1986



  • Capsaicin
  • desensitization
  • hypothalamic neurones
  • nociception
  • sensory neurones
  • substance P
  • temperature reception
  • temperature regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Developmental Biology

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