Effects of high-frequency alternating current on axonal conduction through the vagus nerve

Jonathan J. Waataja, Katherine S. Tweden, Christopher N. Honda

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Abstract

High-frequency alternating current (HFAC) is known to disrupt axonal conduction in peripheral nerves, and HFAC has much potential as a therapeutic approach for a number of pathological conditions. Many previous studies have utilized motor output as a bioassay of effects of HFAC on conduction through medium- to large-diameter motor axons. However, little is known about the effectiveness of HFAC on smaller, more slowly conducting nerve fibres. The present study tested whether HFAC influences axonal conduction through sub-diaphragmatic levels of the rat vagus nerve, which consists almost entirely of small calibre axons. Using an isolated nerve preparation, we tested the effects of HFAC on electrically evoked compound action potentials (CAPs). We found that delivery of charge-balanced HFAC at 5000 Hz for 1 min was effective in producing reversible blockade of axonal conduction. Both Aδ and C components of the vagus CAP were attenuated, and the degree of blockade as well as time to recovery was proportional to the amount of HFAC current delivered. The Aδ waves were more sensitive than C waves to HFAC blockade, but they required more time to recover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number056013
JournalJournal of neural engineering
Volume8
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011

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