The role of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in the capsaicin-induced cough reflex was examined in mice. Pretreatment with inhaled roscovitine, a selective Cdk5 inhibitor, at concentrations of 0.3 to 3 mM inhibited the number of capsaicin-induced coughs in a concentration-dependent manner. Pretreatment with inhaled roscovitine, at a concentration of 3 mM also slightly but significantly inhibited the number of citric acid-induced coughs. The number of capsaicin-induced coughs was significantly reduced when C-fibers were desensitized by the pretreatment with capsaicin. The number of citric acid-induced coughs was slightly but significantly reduced in capsaicin-pretreated mice as compared with that in naive mice. Although the inhalation of roscovitine at a concentration of 3 mM significantly reduced the number of citric acid-induced coughs in naive mice to the level observed in capsaicin-pretreated mice, roscovitine had no effect on the number of citric acid-induced coughs in capsaicin-pretreated mice. These results suggest that Cdk5-dependent factors are involved in C-fiber-mediated cough signaling.
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