It is known that administering a gavage to rodents evokes a cardiac reflex, due to gastrointestinal stimulation. Consequently, it is difficult to evaluate changes in hemodynamics after a single oral dose of a pungent or astringent, which alters the circulation by increasing sympathetic activity. In the present study, we developed a method for administering a gavage without significantly affecting hemodynamics measurements. We marked a gastric tube at 10 cm from the tip, to mark the distance from the oral cavity to the stomach body of Wistar male rats. Rats were intubated under urethane anesthesia.After 10–15 min of stabilization, we measured the mean blood pressure (MBP), heart rate (HR), and blood flow (BF) in the cremaster arteriole under two different conditions; condition 1: a pointed gastric tube, room temperature distilled water, and injected at normal speed (approximately 3 ml/min); condition 2: a rounded gastric tube, 37°C distilled water, and injection at 1.0 ml/min. Under condition 1, we observed striking hemodynamic alterations, due to the somatic afferent reflex. In contrast, under condition 2, these hemodynamic changes were nearly eliminated. In addition, we could clearly detect hemodynamic changes in rats after a single gavage treatment of pungent (capsaicin) or astringent (cinnamtannin A2). We observed transient increases in the HR and MBP soon after treatment with capsaicin. Moreover, cremasteric BF was elevated with cinnamtannin A2. These results confirmed the utility of the gavage method developed in this study.
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