Modulating the Inflammatory Reflex in Rats Using Low-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Stimulation of the Vagus Nerve.

Author: Wasilczuk KM1, Bayer KC2, Somann JP3, Albors GO2, Sturgis J4, Lyle LT5, Robinson JP4, Irazoqui PP6
Author Information:
1Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. Electronic address: kmwasilczuk@gmail.com.
2Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.
3Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.
4Purdue University Cytometry Laboratories, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.
5College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.
6Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.
Conference/Journal: Ultrasound Med Biol.
Date published: 2018 Nov 2
Other: Pages: S0301-5629(18)30402-2 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2018.09.005. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 161


Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) is linked to several chronic inflammatory diseases. Electrical vagus nerve stimulation reduces serum TNF-α levels but may cause chronic nerve damage and requires surgery. Alternatively, we proposed focused ultrasound stimulation of the vagus nerve (uVNS), which can be applied non-invasively. In this study, we induced an inflammatory response in rats using lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and collected blood to analyze the effects of uVNS on cytokine concentrations. We applied one or three 5-min pulsed focused ultrasound stimulation treatments to the vagus nerve (250 kHz, ISPPA = 3 W/cm2). Animals receiving a single ultrasound application had an average reduction in TNF-α levels of 19%, similar to the 16% reduction observed in electrically stimulated animals. With multiple applications, uVNS therapy statistically reduced serum TNF-α levels by 73% compared with control animals without any observed damage to the nerve. These findings suggest that uVNS is a suitable way to attenuate TNF-α levels.

KEYWORDS: Lipopolysaccharides; Low-intensity focused ultrasound; Tumor necrosis factor α; Vagus nerve stimulation

PMID: 30396599 DOI: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2018.09.005

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