International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 52, Issue 6, pp 481–489 | Cite as

Effects of negative air ions on activity of neural substrates involved in autonomic regulation in rats

  • Satoko Suzuki
  • Shinya Yanagita
  • Seiichiro Amemiya
  • Yumi Kato
  • Natsuko Kubota
  • Tomoo Ryushi
  • Ichiro Kita
Original Paper


The neural mechanism by which negative air ions (NAI) mediate the regulation of autonomic nervous system activity is still unknown. We examined the effects of NAI on physiological responses, such as blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), and heart rate variability (HRV) as well as neuronal activity, in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN), locus coeruleus (LC), nucleus ambiguus (NA), and nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) with c-Fos immunohistochemistry in anesthetized, spontaneously breathing rats. In addition, we performed cervical vagotomy to reveal the afferent pathway involved in mediating the effects of NAI on autonomic regulation. NAI significantly decreased BP and HR, and increased HF power of the HRV spectrum. Significant decreases in c-Fos positive nuclei in the PVN and LC, and enhancement of c-Fos expression in the NA and NTS were induced by NAI. After vagotomy, these physiological and neuronal responses to NAI were not observed. These findings suggest that NAI can modulate autonomic regulation through inhibition of neuronal activity in PVN and LC as well as activation of NA neurons, and that these effects of NAI might be mediated via the vagus nerves.


Negative air ions Immunohistochemistry Autonomic regulation 



The present study was in part supported by a grant from the Selective Research Fund of Tokyo Metropolitan University.


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Copyright information

© ISB 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Satoko Suzuki
    • 1
  • Shinya Yanagita
    • 1
  • Seiichiro Amemiya
    • 1
  • Yumi Kato
    • 1
  • Natsuko Kubota
    • 1
  • Tomoo Ryushi
    • 2
  • Ichiro Kita
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human Health ScienceTokyo Metropolitan UniversityHachiojiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Sports ScienceDaito Bunka UniversityHigashi-MatsuyamaJapan

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