Article

Gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor alpha 4 subunit knockout mice are resistant to the amnestic effect of isoflurane.

Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0464, USA.
Anesthesia and analgesia (Impact Factor: 3.42). 12/2009; 109(6):1816-22. DOI: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3181bf6ae6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT General anesthesia produces multiple end points including immobility, hypnosis, sedation, and amnesia. Tonic inhibition via gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABA(A)-Rs) may play a role in mediating behavioral end points that are suppressed by low concentrations of anesthetics (e.g., hypnosis and amnesia). GABA(A)-Rs containing the alpha4 subunit are highly concentrated in the hippocampus and thalamus, and when combined with delta subunits they mediate tonic inhibition, which is sensitive to low concentrations of isoflurane.
In this study, we used a GABA(A) alpha4 receptor knockout mouse line to evaluate the contribution of alpha4-containing GABA(A)-Rs to the effects of immobility, hypnosis, and amnesia produced by isoflurane. Knockout mice and their wild-type counterparts were assessed on 3 behavioral tests: conditional fear (to assess amnesia), loss of righting reflex (to assess hypnosis), and the minimum alveolar concentration of inhaled anesthetic necessary to produce immobility in response to noxious stimulation in 50% of subjects (to assess immobility).
Genetic inactivation of the alpha4 subunit reduced the amnestic effect of isoflurane, minimally affected loss of righting reflex, and had no effect on immobility.
These results lend support to the hypothesis that different sites of action mediate different anesthetic end points and suggest that alpha4-containing GABA(A)-Rs are important mediators of the amnestic effect of isoflurane on hippocampal-dependent declarative memory.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Michael Fanselow, Jun 27, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
284 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The basolateral amygdala (BLA) and ventral subiculum (vSub) of the hippocampus convey emotion and context information, respectively, to the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Using in vivo extracellular recordings from NAc neurons, we examined how acute and repeated restraint stress alters the plasticity of the vSub and BLA afferent pathways. High-frequency (HFS) and low-frequency (LFS) stimulation was applied to the vSub to assess the impact on NAc responses to vSub and BLA inputs. In addition, iontophoretic application of the dopamine D2-antagonist sulpiride was used to explore the role of dopamine in the NAc in mediating the effects of stress on plasticity. Acute and repeated restraint caused disparate effects on BLA- and vSub-evoked responses in the NAc. Following repeated restraint, but not after acute restraint, HFS of the vSub failed to potentiate the vSub-NAc pathway while instead promoting a long-lasting reduction of the BLA-NAc pathway and these effects were independent of D2-receptor activity. In contrast, LFS to the vSub pathway after acute restraint resulted in potentiation in the vSub-NAc pathway while BLA-evoked responses were unchanged. When sulpiride was applied prior to LFS of the vSub after acute stress, there was a pronounced decrease in vSub-evoked responses similar to control animals. This work provides new insight into the impact of acute and repeated stress on the integration of context and emotion inputs in the NAc. These data support a model of stress whereby the hippocampus is inappropriately activated and dominates the information processing within this circuit via a dopaminergic mechanism after acute bouts of stress.
    The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 06/2013; 16(09):1-13. DOI:10.1017/S1461145713000618 · 5.26 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms of modern inhaled anesthetics are still poorly understood although they are widely used in clinical settings. Considerable evidence supports effects on membrane proteins including ligand- and voltage-gated ion channels of excitable cells. Na(+) channels are crucial to action potential initiation and propagation, and represent potential targets for volatile anesthetic effects on central nervous system depression. Inhibition of presynaptic Na(+) channels leads to reduced neurotransmitter release at the synapse and could therefore contribute to the mechanisms by which volatile anesthetics produce their characteristic end points: amnesia, unconsciousness, and immobility. Early studies on crayfish and squid giant axon showed inhibition of Na(+) currents by volatile anesthetics at high concentrations. Subsequent studies using native neuronal preparations and heterologous expression systems with various mammalian Na(+) channel isoforms implicated inhibition of presynaptic Na(+) channels in anesthetic actions at clinical concentrations. Volatile anesthetics reduce peak Na(+) current (I(Na)) and shift the voltage of half-maximal steady-state inactivation (h(∞)) toward more negative potentials, thus stabilizing the fast-inactivated state. Furthermore recovery from fast-inactivation is slowed, together with enhanced use-dependent block during pulse train protocols. These effects can depress presynaptic excitability, depolarization and Ca(2+) entry, and ultimately reduce transmitter release. This reduction in transmitter release is more potent for glutamatergic compared to GABAergic terminals. Involvement of Na(+) channel inhibition in mediating the immobility caused by volatile anesthetics has been demonstrated in animal studies, in which intrathecal infusion of the Na(+) channel blocker tetrodotoxin increases volatile anesthetic potency, whereas infusion of the Na(+) channels agonist veratridine reduces anesthetic potency. These studies indicate that inhibition of presynaptic Na(+) channels by volatile anesthetics is involved in mediating some of their effects.
    Frontiers in Pharmacology 03/2012; 3:50. DOI:10.3389/fphar.2012.00050
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over the past two decades, research has identified extrasynaptic GABA(A) receptor populations that enable neurons to sense the low ambient GABA concentrations present in the extracellular space in order to generate a form of tonic inhibition not previously considered in studies of neuronal excitability. The importance of this tonic inhibition in regulating states of consciousness is highlighted by the fact that extrasynaptic GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) are believed to be key targets for anesthetics, sleep-promoting drugs, neurosteroids, and alcohol. The neurosteroid sensitivity of these extrasynaptic GABA(A)Rs may explain their importance in stress-, ovarian cycle-, and pregnancy-related mood disorders. Moreover, disruptions in network dynamics associated with schizophrenia, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease may well involve alterations in the tonic GABA(A)R-mediated conductance. Extrasynaptic GABA(A)Rs may therefore present a therapeutic target for treatment of these diseases, with the potential to enhance cognition and aid poststroke functional recovery.
    Neuron 01/2012; 73(1):23-34. DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2011.12.012 · 15.98 Impact Factor