Bidirectional Regulation of Intravenous General Anesthetic Actions by α3-containing γ-aminobutyric AcidA Receptors.
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND:: γ-aminobutyric acidA (GABAA) receptors mediate the actions of several intravenous general anesthetics. However, the contribution of α3-containing GABAA receptors to the action of these drugs is unknown. METHODS:: The authors compared anesthetic endpoints (hypnosis, immobility, hypothermia) in response to various intravenous anesthetics in mice lacking the α3 subunit of the GABAA receptor (α3 knockout) and in wild-type mice. Furthermore, the authors generated and analyzed conditional mutant mice expressing the GABAA receptor α3 subunit exclusively in noradrenergic neurons. RESULTS:: α3 knockout mice displayed decreased hypnotic and hypothermic responses to etomidate and midazolam, but an increased response to pentobarbital. The hypnotic response to ketamine was unaltered, whereas the hypothermic response was increased. In contrast, the hypnotic but not the hypothermic response to medetomidine was increased. The combination of ketamine/xylazine displayed increased hypnotic, immobilizing, and hypothermic effects in α3 knockout mice. Mice expressing the α3 subunit exclusively in noradrenergic neurons were generated to assess whether the lack of α3 subunits on noradrenergic neurons may be responsible for this effect. In these mice, the increases of the hypnotic and immobilizing actions induced by ketamine/xylazine were largely absent, whereas the increase in the hypothermic action was still present. CONCLUSION:: α3-containing GABAA receptors bidirectionally regulate essential anesthetic actions: they mediate anesthetic actions of etomidate and midazolam, known to selectively act at GABAA receptors, and they negatively constrain anesthetic actions of compounds with targets partly or exclusively distinct from GABAA receptors such as medetomidine, ketamine, and pentobarbital. Furthermore, our results indicate that α3-containing GABAA receptors on noradrenergic neurons may contribute to this constraint.
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ABSTRACT: Many drugs used to treat anxiety are positive modulators of GABAA receptors, which mediate fast inhibitory neurotransmission. The GABAA receptors can be assembled from a combination of at least 16 different subunits. The receptor's subunit composition determines its pharmacological and functional properties and subunit expression varies throughout the brain. A primary goal for new treatments targeting GABAA receptors is the production of subunit-selective modulators acting upon a discrete population of receptors. The anxiolytic SB-205384 is widely considered to be selective for α3-containing GABAA receptors. However, it has been tested only on α1-, α2- and α3-containing receptors. We examined the activity of SB-205384 at recombinant receptors containing the six different α subunits and found that receptors containing the α3, α5 and α6 subunits were potentiated by SB-205384, with the α6 subunit conferring the greatest responsiveness. Properties associated with chimeric α1/α6 subunits suggested that multiple structural domains influence sensitivity to SB-205384. Point mutations of residues within the extracellular N-terminal domain identified a leucine residue located in Loop E of the agonist binding site as an important determinant of high sensitivity to modulation. In the α6 subunit, the identity of this residue is species-dependent, with the leucine found in rat subunits, but not in human. Our results indicate that SB-205384 is not an α3-selective modulator, and instead acts at several GABAA receptor isoforms. These findings have implications for the side-effect profile of this anxiolytic as well as for its use in neuronal and animal studies as a marker for contribution from α3-containing receptors.Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 07/2013; DOI:10.1124/jpet.113.207324
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ABSTRACT: Aldehyde reductase (AKR1A), a member of the aldo-keto reductase superfamily, is highly expressed in the liver and is involved in both the detoxification of carbonyl compounds and ascorbic acid biosynthesis. By comparison with wild-type mice, Akr1a-knockout (Akr1a(-/-)) mice and human Akrla-transgenic (Akr1a(tg/+)) mice experience different anesthetic actions from pentobarbital-prolonged in Akr1a-knockout (Akr1a(-/-)) mice and shortened in human Akrla-transgenic (Akr1a(tg/+)) mice. We investigated this alteration in the anesthetic efficacy of pentobarbital in Akr1a genetically modified mice. Neither the cytosolic protein of wild-type mouse liver nor purified rat AKR1A directly reduced pentobarbital. Ascorbic acid administration neutralized the prolonged duration of the loss of the righting reflex (LORR) in Akr1a(-/-) mice, but preincubation of pentobarbital with ascorbic acid prior to administration did not change the anesthetic effect. Those results indicated that ascorbic acid does not directly reduce pentobarbital. Enzymatic activities and levels of the proteins of some cytochrome P450s that make up a potent detoxification system for pentobarbital showed no changes in the genetically modified mice examined. Thus, ascorbic acid also had no effect on the detoxification system in the liver. The prolonged duration of LORR in the Akr1a(-/-) mice caused by pentobarbital and the neutralization of the anesthetic effect by ascorbic acid together with other results implies that ascorbic acid alters the responses of the neuronal system to anesthetics. Pentobarbital action is increased under conditions of ascorbic acid deficiency, and this may have to be taken into account when anesthetizing malnourished patients.Life sciences 12/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.lfs.2013.12.004