Thalamic microinfusion of antibody to a voltage-gated potassium channel restores consciousness during anesthesia.
ABSTRACT The Drosophila Shaker mutant fruit-fly, with its malfunctioning voltage-gated potassium channel, exhibits anesthetic requirements that are more than twice normal. Shaker mutants with an abnormal Kv1.2 channel also demonstrate significantly reduced sleep. Given the important role the thalamus plays in both sleep and arousal, the authors investigated whether localized central medial thalamic (CMT) microinfusion of an antibody designed to block the pore of the Kv1.2 channel might awaken anesthetized rats.
Male Sprague-Dawley rats were implanted with a cannula aimed at the CMT or lateral thalamus. One week later, unconsciousness was induced with either desflurane (3.6 +/- 0.2%; n = 55) or sevoflurane (1.2 +/- 0.1%; n = 51). Arousal effects of a single 0.5-microl infusion of Kv1.2 potassium channel blocking antibody (0.1- 0.2 mg/ml) or a control infusion of Arc-protein antibody (0.2 mg/ml) were then determined.
The Kv1.2 antibody, but not the control antibody, temporarily restored consciousness in 17% of all animals and in 75% of those animals where infusions occurred within the CMT (P < 0.01 for each anesthetic). Lateral thalamic infusions showed no effects. Consciousness returned on average (+/- SD) 170 +/- 99 s after infusion and lasted a median time of 398 s (interquartile range: 279-510 s). Temporary seizures, without apparent consciousness, predominated in 33% of all animals.
These findings support the idea that the CMT plays a role in modulating levels of arousal during anesthesia and further suggest that voltage-gated potassium channels in the CMT may contribute to regulating arousal or may even be relevant targets of anesthetic action.
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ABSTRACT: Central thalamus regulates forebrain arousal, influencing activity in distributed neural networks that give rise to organized actions during alert, wakeful states. Central thalamus has been implicated in working memory by the effects of lesions and microinjected drugs in this part of the brain. Lesions and drugs that inhibit neural activity have been found to impair working memory. Drugs that increase activity have been found to enhance and impair memory depending on the dose tested. Electrical deep brain stimulation (DBS) similarly enhances working memory at low stimulating currents and impairs it at higher currents. These effects are time dependent. They were observed when DBS was applied during the memory delay (retention) or choice response (retrieval) but not earlier in trials during the sample (acquisition) phase. The effects of microinjected drugs and DBS are consistent with the Yerkes-Dodson law, which describes an inverted-U relationship between arousal and behavioral performance. Alternatively these results may reflect desensitization associated with higher levels of stimulation, spread of drugs or current to adjacent structures, or activation of less sensitive neurons or receptors at higher DBS currents or drug doses.Dose-Response 01/2011; 9(3):313-31. DOI:10.2203/dose-response.10-017.Mair · 1.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sleep consists of quiescent periods with reduced responsiveness to external stimuli. Despite being maladaptive in that when asleep, animals are less able to respond to dangerous stimuli; sleep behavior is conserved in all animal species studied to date. Thus, sleep must be performing at least one fundamental, conserved function that is necessary, and/or whose benefits outweigh its maladaptive consequences. Currently, there is no consensus on what that function might be. Over the last 10 years, multiple groups have started to characterize the molecular mechanisms and brain structures necessary for normal sleep in Drosophila melanogaster. These researchers are exploiting genetic tools developed in Drosophila over the past century to identify and manipulate gene expression. Forward genetic screens can identify molecular components in complex biological systems and once identified, these genes can be manipulated within specific brain areas to determine which neuronal groups are important to initiate and maintain sleep. Screening for mutations and brain regions necessary for normal sleep has revealed that several genes that affect sleep are involved in synaptic plasticity and have preferential expression in the mushroom bodies (MBs). Moreover, altering MB neuronal activity alters sleep. Previous genetic screens found that the same genes enriched in MB are necessary for learning and memory. Increasing evidence in mammals, including humans, points to a beneficial role for sleep in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. Thus, results from both flies and mammals suggest a strong link between sleep need and wake plasticity.International Review of Neurobiology 01/2011; 99:213-44. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-387003-2.00009-4 · 2.46 Impact Factor