Histamine, Capsaicin and Neurogenic Inflammation. A Historical Note on the Contribution of Miklós (Nicholas) Jancsó (1903–1963) to Sensory Pharmacology

  • Gábor Jancsó
Part of the Hans Selye Symposia on Neuroendocrinology and Stress book series (HSSN, volume 3)


Miklós (Nicholas) “Jancsó was undoubtedly the greatest genius of post World War II Hungarian biomedical sciences,” noted Professor Szentágothai in his introductory remarks to a symposium on “Capsaicin and the sensory system” held in Budapest in 1985.1 It is not possible to give here even a superficial account of N. Jancsó’s scientific achievements. Instead, the intention of the present author is to draw attention to some interesting aspects of his investigations and to show that, despite the apparent diversity of the fields of medical research in which he was involved, his work is characterized by a remarkable unbroken thematic continuity. This is also emphasized in the excellent book by Professor B. Issekutz senior,2 in which he wrote about the life and work of Jancsó and his father, N. Jancsó senior, who was a renowned malaria researcher and Director of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Kolozsvár (now Cluj, Rumania) and later on at Szeged University. Professor Issekutz was himself an outstanding pharmacologist, who headed the Pharmacology Department at Szeged and later at Budapest University. He greatly appreciated the brilliance of his young colleague and supported him in his career in many ways. He established a chemotherapy division for Jancsó in the Pharmacology Department at Szeged University after he had completed a successful Fellowship at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin in 1931. In the pre-war period of his scientific career, Jancsó made a significant contribution to the understanding of the mechanisms involved in the action of chemotherapeutic agents, as will be mentioned briefly in this article.


Sensory Nerve Ending Robert Koch Institute Trypanocide Drug Silver Accumulation Capsaicin Desensitization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    J. Szolcsányi, Miklós Jancsó, 1903–1966, Acta Physiol Hung. 69:263(1987).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    B. Issekutz, sen., Id. Jancsó Miklós és irj. Jancsó Miklós, a két orvostudós. (Nicholas Jancsó, sen., and Nicholas Jancsó, jr., the two medical scientists.) Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    N. Jancsó, Eine neue histochemische Methode zur biologischen Untersuchung des Salvarsan und verwandter Arsenobenzolderivate, Z. ges.exp.Med. 61:63(1928).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    N. Jancsó, Wirkungsmechanismus der Chemotherapeutica bei Trypanosen, Klin. Wschr. 11:1305 (1932).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    N. Jancsó and H. Jancsó, Chemotherapeutische Wirkung und Kohlenhydratstoffwechsel. Die Heilwirkung von Guanindinderivaten auf die Trypanosomeninfektion, Z. Immunitatsforsch. 86:1 (1935).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    J.H. Gaddum, Discoveries in therapeutics, J. Pharm. Pharmacol 6:497(1954).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    N. Jancsó and H. Jancsó, Mikrobiologische Grundlagen der chemotherapeutischen Wirkung. 1. Mitteilung: Wirkungsmechanismus des Germanins (Bayer 205) bei Trypanosomen, Ztbl Bakter. 132:257(1934).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    H. King, E.M. Lourie and W. Yorke, New trypanocidal substances, Lancet 11:1360(1937).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    H. Kroó and N. Jancsó, Die Bedeutung des Reticuloendothels für die Immunität and Chemotherapie, Z. Hyg. 112:544(1931).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    N. Jancsó, Speicherung; Stoffanreicherung im Retikuloendothel und in der Niere. Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest (1955).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    N. Jancsó, Histamine as a physiological activator of the reticulo-endothelial system, Nature 160:227 (1947).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    N. Jancsó, Sichtbarmachung von Histaminwirkungen in den Geweben, Ber. Physiol 126:475 (1941).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Z. Dirner, Wirkungsmechanismus von Hautreizstoffen, Ber. Physiol. 126:475(1941).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    N. Jancsó and A. Jancsó-Gábor, Dauerausschaltung der chemischen Schmerzempfindlichkeit durch Capsaicin, Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Arch, exp. Path. Pharmak. 236:142(1959).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    J. Pórszász and N. Jancsó, Studies on the action potentials of sensory nerves in animals desensitized with capsaicine, Acta Physiol. Sci. Hung. 16:299(1959).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    N. Jancsó and A. Jancsó-Gábor, Die Wirkungen des Capsaicins auf die hypothalamischen Thermoreceptoren, Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Arch. exp. Path. Pharmak. 251:136(1965).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    N. Jancsó, Role of the nerve terminals in the mechanism of inflammatory reactions, Bull Millard Fillmore Hosp. (Buffalo, N.Y.) 7:53 (1960).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    N. Jancsó, Desensitization with capsaicin and related acylamides as a tool for studying the function of pain receptors, in: “Pharmacology of Pain,” R. K. S. Lim, ed., Pergamon Press, Oxford (1968).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    N. Jancsó, Neurogenic inflammatory responses, Acta Physiol. Acad. Sci. Hung. Suppl. 23:3(1964).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    G. Jancsó, E. Király and A. Jancsó-Gábor, Pharmacologically induced selective degeneration of chemosensitive primary sensory neurones, Nature 270:741 (1977).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    C.A. Maggi and A. Meli, The sensory-efferent function of capsaicin-sensitive nerves, Gen. Pharmacol. 19:1(1988).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    J. Szolcsányi, Capsaicin, irritation, and desensitization. Neurophysiological basis and future perspectives, in: “Irritation, Chemical Senses,” Vol. 2, B. G. Green, J. R. Mason and M. R. Kare, eds., Marcel Dekker, New York and Basel (1990).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    P. Holzer, Capsaicin: Cellular targets, mechanisms of action, and selectivity for thin sensory neurons, Pharmacol Rev. 43:143(1991).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    G. Jancsó, Pathobiological reactions of C-fibre primary sensory neurones to peripheral nerve injury, Exp. Physiol 77:405(1992).PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gábor Jancsó
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyAlbert Szent-Györgyi Medical UniversitySzegedHungary

Personalised recommendations