Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Type A Receptor beta 3 Subunit Forebrain-Specific Knockout Mice Are Resistant to the Amnestic Effect of Isoflurane

Department of Anesthesia, S-455, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0464, USA.
Anesthesia and analgesia (Impact Factor: 3.42). 09/2011; 113(3):500-4. DOI: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3182273aff
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT β3 containing γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABA(A)-Rs) mediate behavioral end points of IV anesthetics such as immobility and hypnosis. A knockout mouse with targeted forebrain deletion of the β3 subunit of the GABA(A)-R shows reduced sensitivity to the hypnotic effect of etomidate, as measured by the loss of righting reflex. The end points of amnesia and immobility produced by an inhaled anesthetic have yet to be evaluated in this conditional knockout.
We assessed forebrain selective β3 conditional knockout mice and their littermate controls for conditional fear to evaluate amnesia and MAC, the minimum alveolar concentration of inhaled anesthetic necessary to produce immobility in response to noxious stimulation, to assess immobility. Suppression of conditional fear was assessed for etomidate and isoflurane, and MAC was assessed for isoflurane.
Etomidate equally suppressed conditional fear for both genotypes. The knockout showed resistance to the suppression of conditional fear produced by isoflurane in comparison with control littermates. Controls and knockouts did not differ in isoflurane MAC values.
These results suggest that β3 containing GABA(A)-Rs in the forebrain contribute to hippocampal-dependent memory suppressed by isoflurane, but not etomidate.

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