[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycine receptors (GlyRs) are pentameric ligand-gated ion channels that mediate inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain and spinal cord and are targets of alcohols and anesthetics. The transmembrane (TM) domain of GlyR subunits is composed of four α-helical segments (TM1-4), but there are conflicting data about the orientation of TM3 and TM4 and, therefore, also the proximity of residues (e.g., A288) that are important for alcohol and anesthetic effects. In the present study, we investigated the proximity of A288 in TM3 to residues in TM4 from M404 to K411. We generated eight double mutant GlyRs (A288C/M404C, A288C/F405C, A288C/Y406C, A288C/W407C, A288C/I408C, A288C/I409C, A288C/Y410C, and A288C/K411C), as well as the corresponding single mutants, and expressed them in Xenopus laevis oocytes. To measure glycine responses, we used two-electrode voltage clamp electrophysiology. We built homology models of the GlyR using structures of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and a prokaryotic ion channel (Gloeobacter violaceus, GLIC) as templates, and asked which model best fit our experimental data. Application of the cross-linking reagent HgCl(2) in the closed state produced a leftward shift in the glycine concentration-response curves of the A288C/W407C and A288C/Y410C mutants, suggesting they are able to form cross-links. In addition, when HgCl(2) was coapplied with glycine, responses were changed in the A288C/Y406C, A288C/I409C, and A288C/Y410C double mutants, suggesting that agonist-induced rotation of TM4 allows A288C/Y406C and A288C/I409C to cross-link. These results are consistent with a model of GlyR, based on nAChR, in which A288, Y406, W407, I409, and Y410 face into a four-helical bundle.
ACS Chemical Neuroscience 07/2010; 1(7):482. · 3.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine whether pairs of compounds, including general anesthetics, could simultaneously modulate receptor function in a synergistic manner, thus demonstrating the existence of multiple intraprotein anesthetic binding sites.
Using standard electrophysiologic methods, we measured the effects of at least one combination of benzene, isoflurane (ISO), halothane (HAL), chloroform, flunitrazepam, zinc, and pentobarbital on at least one of the following ligand gated ion channels: N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, glycine receptors and gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors.
All drug-drug-receptor combinations were found to exhibit additive, not synergistic modulation. ISO with benzene additively depressed N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors function. ISO with HAL additively enhanced glycine receptors function, as did ISO with zinc. ISO with HAL additively enhanced gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors function as did all of the following: HAL with chloroform, pentobarbital with ISO, and flunitrazepam with ISO.
The simultaneous allosteric modulation of ligand gated ion channels by general anesthetics is entirely additive. Where pairs of general anesthetic drugs interact synergistically to produce general anesthesia, they must do so on systems more complex than a single receptor.
Anesthesia and analgesia 08/2008; 107(2):486-93. · 3.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acamprosate (calcium acetylhomotaurinate) has proven to be a moderately effective pharmacological adjunct for the treatment of alcoholism. However, the central nervous system mechanism by which acamprosate reduces alcohol relapse remains unclear. Here we survey a number of metabotropic receptors, ligand-gated ion channels, and voltage-gated ion channels, to determine if acamprosate has actions at these sites in the central nervous system.
Xenopus oocytes were injected with cDNAs or cRNAs encoding metabotropic glutamate receptors 1 and 5, M1 muscarinic receptors, glycine alpha1 homomeric and alpha1beta1 heteromeric receptors, gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABA(A)alpha4beta3delta, alpha4beta3gamma2s, and alpha1beta2gamma2s) receptors, vanilloid receptor 1, and various combinations of alpha and beta subunits of voltage-gated Na+ channels. Electrophysiological responses were measured using two-electrode voltage clamp parameters after activation with agonists or voltage steps (for the voltage-gated channels). Acamprosate (0.1 to 100 microM) was pre-applied for 1 minute, followed by co-application with agonist. Acamprosate was also applied with ethanol to determine if it altered ethanol responses at some of these receptors and channels.
None of the receptors or ion channels responded to acamprosate alone. Acamprosate also failed to alter the activation of receptors or channels by agonists or after activation of voltage-gated channels. There was no effect of acamprosate on ethanol responses at GABA(A)alpha1beta2gamma2s receptors or Na+ channels.
Acamprosate does not significantly modulate the function of these receptors and ion channels at clinically relevant concentrations. Thus, the clinical effectiveness of acamprosate in the treatment of alcoholism is not likely due to direct effects on these receptors or ion channels.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 03/2008; 32(2):188-96. · 3.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) of isoflurane is a quantitative trait because it varies continuously in a population. The location on the genome of genes or other genetic elements controlling quantiative traits is called quantitative trait loci (QTLs). In this study we sought to detect a quantitative trait locus underlying isoflurane MAC in mice.
To accomplish this, two inbred mouse strains differing in isoflurane MAC, the C57BL/6J and LP/J mouse strains, were bred through two generations to produce genetic recombination. These animals were genotyped for microsatellite markers. We also applied an independent, computational method for identifying QTL-regulating differences in isoflurane MAC. In this approach, the isoflurane MAC was measured in a panel of 19 inbred strains, and computationally searched for genomic intervals where the pattern of genetic variation, based on single nucleotide polymorphisms, correlated with the differences in isoflurane MAC among inbred strains.
Both methods of genetic analysis identified a QTL for isoflurane MAC that was located on the proximal part of mouse chromosome 7.
Anesthesia and analgesia 09/2007; 105(2):381-5. · 3.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chirality has been proposed as a means for distinguishing relevant from irrelevant molecular targets of action, but the sensitivity and specificity of this test is unknown for volatile anesthetics. We applied enantiomers of two chiral anesthetic alcohols (2-butanol and 2-pentanol) that are enantioselective for the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) preventing movement in 50% of animals and one (2-hexanol) that was not to frog oocytes. Each oocyte expressed one of three anesthetic-sensitive ion channels: a Twik-related-spinal cord K+ (TRESK) channel, a gamma-amino butyric acid type A (GABA(A)) receptor and an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. Using voltage-clamp techniques, we found that 2-butanol was not enantioselective for any channel (e.g., 16 mM 2-butanol R(-) and S(-) enantiomers decreased current through an NMDA receptors by 44% +/- 3% [mean +/- se] and 37% +/- 4%, respectively); 2-pentanol was enantioselective for one channel (the GABA(A) receptor, the enantiomers increasing current by 277% +/- 20% and 141% +/- 30%); 2-hexanol was enantioselective for both GABA(A) and NMDA receptors (e.g., decreasing current through the NMDA receptor by 19% +/- 3% and 43% +/- 5%). We calculated the sensitivity and specificity of chirality as a test of anesthetic relevance under two scenarios: 1) all three channels were relevant mediators of MAC and 2) no channel was a mediator of MAC. These sensitivities and specificities were poor because there is no consistent correspondence between receptor and whole animal results. We recommend that enantioselectivity not be used as a test of relevance for inhaled anesthetic targets.
Anesthesia and analgesia 08/2006; 103(1):86-91, table of contents. · 3.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Combinations of GluR5-GluR7, KA1, and KA2 subunits form kainate receptors, a subtype of excitatory ionotropic glutamate receptors. Isoflurane enhances the action of kainate receptors comprising GluR6 subunits expressed in oocytes. To test whether alterations of the GluR6 subunit gene affect the actions of inhaled anesthetics in vivo, we measured the minimum alveolar concentration of desflurane, isoflurane, and halothane in mice lacking the kainate receptor subunit GluR6 (GluR6 knockout mice) and mice with a dominant negative glutamine/arginine (Q/R) editing mutation in membrane domain 2 of the GluR6 receptor (GluR6 editing mutants), which increases the calcium permeability of kainate receptors containing GluR6Q. We also measured the capacity of isoflurane to interfere with Pavlovian fear conditioning to a tone and to context. Absence of the GluR6 subunit did not change the minimum alveolar concentration of isoflurane, desflurane, or halothane. Possibly, kainate receptors assembled from the remaining kainate receptor subunits compensate for the absent subunits and thereby produce a normal minimum alveolar concentration. A Q/R mutation that dominantly affects kainate receptors containing the GluR6 subunit in mice increased isoflurane minimum alveolar concentration (by 12%; P < 0.01), decreased desflurane minimum alveolar concentration (by 18%; P < 0.001), and did not change halothane minimum alveolar concentration (P = 0.25). These data may indicate that kainate receptors containing GluR6Q subunits differently modulate, directly or indirectly, the mechanism by which inhaled anesthetics cause immobility. The mutations of GluR6 that were studied did not affect the capacity of isoflurane to interfere with fear conditioning.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several reports suggest that clinically used concentrations of inhaled anesthetics can increase conductance through noninactivating potassium channels and that the resulting hyperpolarization might decrease excitability, thereby leading to the anesthetic state. We speculated that animals deficient in such potassium channels might be resistant to the effects of anesthetics. Thus, in the present study, we measured the minimum alveolar anesthetic concentration (MAC) needed to prevent movement in response to a noxious stimulus in 50% of adult mice lacking functional KCNK5 potassium channel subunits and compared these results with those for heterozygous and wild-type mice. We also measured MAC in weaver mice that had a mutation in the potassium channel Kir3.2 and compared the resulting values with those for wild-type mice. MAC values for desflurane, halothane, and isoflurane for KCNK5-deficient mice and isoflurane MAC values for weaver mice did not differ from MAC values found in control mice. Our results do not support the notion that these potassium channels mediate the capacity of inhaled anesthetics to produce immobility. In addition, we found that the weaver mice did not differ from control mice in their susceptibility to convulsions from the nonimmobilizers flurothyl [di-(2,2,2,-trifluoroethyl)ether] or 2N (1,2-dichlorohexafluorocyclobutane). IMPLICATIONS: Mice harboring mutations in either of two different potassium channels have minimum alveolar anesthetic concentration (MAC) values that do not differ from MAC values found in control mice. Such findings do not support the notion that these potassium channels mediate the capacity of inhaled anesthetics to produce immobility in the face of noxious stimulation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There are acetylcholine receptors throughout the central nervous system, and they may mediate some forms and aspects of convulsive activity. Most high-affinity binding sites on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors for nicotine, cytisine, and epibatidine in the brain contain the beta2 subunit of the receptor. Transitional inhaled compounds (compounds less potent than predicted from their lipophilicity and the Meyer-Overton hypothesis) and nonimmobilizers (compounds that do not produce immobility despite a lipophilicity that suggests anesthetic qualities as predicted from the Meyer-Overton hypothesis) can produce convulsions. The nonimmobilizer flurothyl [di-(2,2,2,-trifluoroethyl)ether] blocks the action of gamma-aminobutyric acid on gamma-aminobutyric acid(A) receptors, whereas the nonimmobilizer 1,2-dichlorohexafluorocyclobutane (2N, also called F6) does not. 2N can block the action of acetylcholine on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. We examined the relative capacities of these compounds to cause convulsions in mice having and lacking the beta2 subunit of the acetylcholine receptor. The partial pressure causing convulsions in half the mice (the 50% effective concentration [EC(50)]) was the same as in control mice. For the knockout mice, the EC(50) for flurothyl was 0.00170 +/- 0.00030 atm (mean +/- SD), and for 2N, it was 0.0345 +/- 0.0041 atm. For the control mice, the respective values were 0.00172 +/- 0.00057 atm and 0.0341 +/- 0.0048 atm. The ratio of the 2N to flurothyl EC(50) values was 20.8 +/- 3.5 for the knockout mice and 21.7 +/- 7.0 for the control mice. These results do not support the notion that acetylcholine receptors are important mediators of the capacity of 2N or flurothyl to cause convulsions. However, we also found that both nonimmobilizers inhibit rat alpha4beta2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors at EC(50) partial pressures (0.00091 atm and 0.062 atm for flurothyl and 2N, respectively) that approximate those that produce convulsions (0.0015 atm and 0.04 atm). IMPLICATIONS: The results from the present study provide conflicting data concerning the notion that acetylcholine receptors mediate the capacity of nonimmobilizers to produce convulsions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been implicated in the mechanism of action of isoflurane as they are inhibited at subanesthetic concentrations. Despite clear evidence for nicotinic inhibition at relevant isoflurane concentrations, it is unclear what behavioral result ensues, if any.
The authors have modeled two behaviors common to all general anesthetics, immobility and hypnosis, as minimum alveolar concentration that prevents movement in response to a supramaximal stimulus (MAC) and loss of righting reflex (LORR). They have tested the ability of nicotinic pharmacologic modulators and congenital absence of most heteromeric nAChRs to affect concentration of isoflurane required for these behaviors.
Neither mecamylamine, 5 mg/kg, nor chlorisondamine, 10 mg/kg, affected isoflurane MAC. Nicotine caused a small decrease in MAC. None of the above agents had any effect on the concentration of isoflurane required for LORR. Mice genetically engineered to lack the beta 2 nicotinic gene product were not different in MAC or LORR from controls.
Nicotinic antagonists do not cause MAC or LORR. Inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by isoflurane is not likely related to its ability to provide immobility and hypnosis in a surgical setting. This is perhaps not surprising as the inhibition of nAChRs in vitro is complete at an isoflurane concentration equal to one half of MAC. Nicotinic inhibition may, however, be involved in anesthetic behaviors such as amnesia and analgesia, which occur at lower anesthetic concentrations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The inhaled anesthetic isoflurane inhibits neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) at concentrations lower than those used for anesthesia. Isoflurane produces biphasic nociceptive responses, with both hyperalgesia and analgesia within this concentration range. Because nicotinic agonists act as analgesics, the authors hypothesized that inhibition of nicotinic transmission by isoflurane causes hyperalgesia.
The authors studied female mice at 6-8 weeks of age. They measured hind paw withdrawal latency at isoflurane concentrations from 0 to 0.98 vol% after the animals had received a nicotinic agonist (nicotine), a nicotinic antagonist (mecamylamine or chlorisondamine), or saline intraperitoneally. In addition, the authors tested the interactions between mecamylamine and isoflurane and nicotine and isoflurane in heterologously expressed alpha(4)beta(2) nAChRs.
Female mice had significant hyperalgesia from isoflurane. Nicotine administration prevented isoflurane-induced hyperalgesia without altering the antinociception produced by higher isoflurane concentrations. Mecamylamine treatment caused a biphasic nociceptive response similar to that caused by isoflurane. Mecamylamine and isoflurane had an additive effect, both at heterologously expressed alpha(4)beta(2) nAChRs and on the production of hyperalgesia in vivo. Mecamylamine thus potentiated hyperalgesia but did not affect analgesia.
Since hyperalgesia occurs in vivo at isoflurane doses that antagonize nAChRs in vitro, is prevented by a nicotinic agonist, and is mimicked and potentiated by nicotinic antagonists, the authors conclude that isoflurane inhibition of nAChRs activation is involved in the pathway that causes hyperalgesia. At subanesthetic doses, isoflurane can either enhance pain responses (produce hyperalgesia) or be analgesic (antinociceptive). In rats, low volatile anesthetic concentrations (0.1-0.2 minimum alveolar concentration [MAC]) elicit hyperalgesia, while 0.4-0.6 MAC elicits antinociception.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is an autosomal dominant, potentially fatal pharmacogenetic disorder of skeletal muscle. Approximately half of all known MH families show a linkage to the ryanodine receptor type 1 (RY1) gene. Although our knowledge of the diagnosis, genetics, and therapy of MH has improved, the exact pathogenesis and the role of volatile anesthetics as trigger substances for an MH crisis remain unknown. Compounds that do not obey the Meyer-Overton hypothesis (i.e., nonimmobilizers) are today an important part of research on anesthetic mechanisms. We designed this study to test the hypothesis that the nonimmobilizer 1,2-dichlorohexafluorocyclobutane (2N) compared with halothane has different effects on in vitro muscle contractures of muscle bundles from MH-susceptible (MHS) individuals. In vitro muscle contracture tests were performed with either halothane (approximately 660 microM, equivalent to approximately 4 minimum alveolar anesthetic concentration [MAC]) or 2N ( approximately 100 microM, equivalent to approximately 5 times predicted MAC). MAC is defined as the anesthetic concentration that prevents nocifensive movements after a surgical stimulus in 50% of subjects. In contrast to halothane, 2N caused only minimal muscle contractures in muscle bundles from six MHS patients (0.13 g [0.04-0.31 g] vs 1.95 g [1.60-4.70 g], median values and ranges; P = 0.004). Halothane and 2N differ in their effects on muscle contractures of MHS individuals, possibly because of a differing action on MH RY1. IMPLICATIONS: Using in vitro contracture tests, we showed that halothane and the nonimmobilizer 1,2-dichlorohexafluorocyclobutane differ in their effects on contractures of muscle bundles from individuals susceptible to malignant hyperthermia (MH) as a result of their differing action on MH ryanodine receptors. These findings render this receptor a possible molecular target for volatile anesthetic action.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some of the effects of ethanol in the central nervous system are due to changes in function of ligand-gated ion channels. Production of detectable amounts of acetaldehyde, a primary metabolite of ethanol, has been demonstrated in brain homogenates. The aim of this study was to determine whether central actions that are often attributed to ethanol may actually be mediated by acetaldehyde.
The effects of acetaldehyde (1-1000 microM) were tested by two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing 10 different ligand-gated ion channel receptors [alpha1 glycine; alpha1beta2gamma2Sgamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A; rho1 GABAc; 5-hydroxytryptamine-3A; NR1a/NR2A NMDA; GluR1/GluR2 AMPA; GluR6/KA2 kainate; and alpha4beta2, alpha4beta4, and alpha2beta4 nicotinic-acetylcholine] and the G-protein-coupled inward rectifying potassium channel GIRK2. We also investigated the effect of acetaldehyde on the dopamine transporter (DAT), performing dopamine uptake assays in oocytes expressing DAT.
Acetaldehyde (1 and 10 microM) significantly enhanced alpha1 glycine receptor-mediated currents. Acetaldehyde did not affect the function of any of the other receptors tested or the potassium currents measured in GIRK2 channels. Moreover, acetaldehyde did not alter the DAT-mediated dopamine uptake.
Our results suggest a potential minor role for acetaldehyde in the glycine receptor-mediated effects of ethanol. Otherwise, acetaldehyde does not modulate function of the neuronal receptors tested in this study, in GIRK channels or DAT, when expressed recombinantly in Xenopus laevis oocytes.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 12/2001; 25(11):1570-5. · 3.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The in vivo potencies of anesthetics correlate with their capacity to suppress the reaction of luciferin with luciferase. In addition, luciferin has structural resemblances to etomidate. These observations raise the issues of whether luciferin, itself, might affect anesthetic requirement, and whether luciferase resembles the site of anesthetic action. Because the polar luciferin is unlikely to cross the blood-brain barrier (we found that the olive oil/water partition coefficient was 100 +/- 36 x 10(-7)), we studied these issues in rats by measuring the effect of infusion of luciferin in artificial cerebrospinal fluid into the lumbar subarachnoidal space and into the cerebral intraventricular space on the MAC (the minimum alveolar anesthetic concentration required to eliminate movement in response to a noxious stimulus in 50% of tested subjects) of isoflurane. MAC in rats given lumbar intrathecal doses of luciferin estimated to greatly exceed anesthetizing doses of etomidate, did not differ significantly from MAC in rats receiving only artificial cerebrospinal fluid into the lumbar intrathecal space. MAC slightly decreased when doses of luciferin estimated to greatly exceed anesthetizing doses of etomidate were infused intraventricularly (P < 0.05). In contrast to the absent or minimal effects of luciferin, intrathecal or intraventricular infusion of etomidate at similar or smaller doses significantly decreased isoflurane MAC. Luciferin did not affect +-aminobutyric acid type A or acetylcholine receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. These results suggest that luciferin has minimal or no anesthetic effects. It also suggests that luciferin/luciferase may not provide a good surrogate for the site at which anesthetics act, if this site is on the surface of neuronal cells. IMPLICATIONS: In proportion to their potencies, anesthetics inhibit luciferin's action on luciferase, and luciferin structurally resembles the anesthetic etomidate. However, in contrast to etomidate, luciferin given intrathecally or into the third cerebral ventricle does not have anesthetic actions, and it does not affect +-aminobutyric acid or acetylcholine receptors in vitro. Luciferase may not provide a good surrogate for the site at which anesthetics act.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) subtype of glutamate receptor mediates fast excitatory neurotransmission in the central nervous system. Many general anesthetics inhibit AMPA receptors in vitro; however, it is not certain if this inhibition contributes to the behavioral properties of these drugs. AMPA receptors lacking the GluR2 subunit are resistant to blockade by barbiturates in vitro. Paradoxically, GluR2 null mutant (-/-) mice are more sensitive to barbiturate-induced loss of the righting reflex (LORR) compared with wild-type (+/+) littermates. To determine if interactions between anesthetics and AMPA receptors account for the increased sensitivity of (-/-) mice, the effects of volatile anesthetics that do not directly inhibit AMPA receptors were examined.
Isoflurane, halothane, desflurane, or sevoflurane were administered to (-/-) and (+/+) littermate controls. Anesthetic requirements for LORR, movement to tail clamp (minimum alveolar concentration [MAC]), and hind-paw withdrawal latency (HPWL) were determined. Electrophysiologic methods examined the inhibition of AMPA receptors by isoflurane and halothane.
Anesthetic requirements for LORR and HPWL were decreased, whereas MAC values were unchanged in (-/-) mice. Isoflurane and halothane caused minimal inhibition of AMPA receptors at clinically relevant concentrations.
Direct blockade of AMPA receptors did not account for the increased sensitivity to volatile anesthetics in GluR2 null mutant mice for HPWL or LORR. Thus, the deficiency of GluR2-containing AMPA receptors increases the sensitivity of neuronal circuitry mediating these end points, but not MAC. GluR2-containing receptors do not contribute appreciably to MAC in this mouse model. These results illustrate the difficulties in attributing behavioral responses to drug-receptor interactions in genetically engineered animals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Meyer and Overton suggested that anesthetic potency correlates inversely with lipophilicity. Thus, MAC times the olive oil/gas partition coefficient equals an approximately constant value of 1.82 +/- 0.56 atm (mean +/- SD). MAC is the minimum alveolar concentration of anesthetic required to eliminate movement in response to a noxious stimulus in 50% of subjects. Although MAC times the olive oil/gas partition coefficient also equals an approximately constant value for normal alkanols from methanol through octanol, the value (0.156 +/- 0.072 atm) is 1/10th that found for conventional anesthetics. We hypothesized that substitution of sulfur for the oxygen in n-alkanols would decrease their saline/gas partition coefficients (i.e., decrease polarity) while sustaining lipid/gas partition coefficients. Further, we hypothesized that these changes would produce products of MAC times olive oil partition coefficients that approximate those of conventional anesthetics. To test these predictions, we measured MAC in rats, and saline and olive oil solubilities for the series H(CH(2))(n)SH, comparing the results with the series H(CH(2))(n)OH for compounds having three to six carbon atoms. As hypothesized, the alkanethiols had similar oil/gas partition coefficients, 1000-fold smaller saline gas partition coefficients, and MAC values 30 times greater than for comparable alkanols. Such findings are consistent with the notion that the greater potency of many alkanols (greater than would be predicted from conventional inhaled anesthetics and the Meyer-Overton hypothesis) results from their greater polarity. Implications: The in vivo anesthetic potency of alkanols and alkanethiols correlates with their lipophilicity and hydrophilicity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although similar in shape and size, and although differing only by substitution of a sulfur atom for an oxygen atom, propanethiol and butanethiol differ markedly from propanol and butanol in their in vivo potency and physical properties. Recent theories of narcosis suggest that anesthetics may act by enhancing the effect of inhibitory agonists, such as glycine, on their receptors. We tested whether propanol, butanol, propanethiol, and butanethiol enhance the effect of glycine on alpha1 glycine receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes in a manner that reflects the in vivo differences found for potencies. As anticipated, we found an immediate parallel between in vivo (rat minimum alveolar concentration of anesthetic required to eliminate movement in response to a noxious stimulus in 50% of subjects) and in vitro (recombinant receptor) effects. All four compounds enhanced the effect of glycine on wild type receptors, and the extent of enhancement for a given minimum alveolar concentration-multiple was approximately the same for all compounds. We also found that propanethiol, butanethiol, propanol, and butanol did not affect, or minimally affected, the action of glycine in anesthetic resistant mutants in which the amino acid serine at position 267 was replaced by glutamine [alpha1(S267Q)]. Implications: The in vivo potencies of propanethiol, butanethiol, propanol, and butanol correlate with their capacities to enhance the effect of glycine on alpha1 glycine receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. These results support the notion that a protein mediates anesthetic action.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: On two occasions, sevoflurane distributed for clinical practice has been found to be contaminated with compounds thought to include hydrogen fluoride (HF) and silicon tetrafluoride (SiF(4)). Both compounds can produce pulmonary injury. However, injury would require fractional distillation of the compounds during the course of sevoflurane vaporization. We hypothesized that such distillation would occur and that the compounds would vaporize more rapidly than would sevoflurane. Thus, we tested whether fractional distillation occurs during vaporization of sevoflurane containing HF or SiF(4), or from sevoflurane containing HF converted to other compounds by contact with glass. Vaporization of < 10% of the sevoflurane distilled 65%-99% of these compounds, SiF(4) distilling most rapidly, HF (converted to other acidic compounds, including SiF(4)) distilling nearly as rapidly, and HF slowest. Nuclear magnetic resonance studies indicated that HF interaction with glass changed all HF to three other compounds, one being SiF(4) and the others being unknown. HF and SiF4 distill from sevoflurane more rapidly than sevoflurane is vaporized. Measurement of acidity after sevoflurane administration may not reveal a previous presence of such contaminants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We measured the naturally occurring variability in anesthetic potency, defined by the minimum alveolar anesthetic concentrations (MACs) of inhaled anesthetics required to produce immobility in response to noxious stimuli, in seven widely used laboratory mouse strains. To these data, we added similar data for eight other mouse strains. The average MAC values for each anesthetic for the 15 strains were normally distributed, with a coefficient of variation (ratio of SD to mean) of 0.1. The range of MAC values was 39% for desflurane, 44% for isoflurane, and 55% for halothane. MAC values were highly reliable, with approximately 1% of the variance in MAC measurements for the strains being explained by measurement error. One hundred forty-six statistically significant differences among the 15 strains were found for the three inhaled anesthetics (isoflurane, desflurane, and halothane). Our results suggest that multiple genes underlie the observed variability in anesthetic potency. IMPLICATIONS: Laboratory mouse strains differ significantly in susceptibility to anesthetics. These phenotypic differences may be exploited to help determine the genetic basis of anesthetic-induced immobility.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inhalable solvents possess significant abuse liability and produce many of the neurobehavioral effects typically associated with central nervous system-depressant agents, including motor incoordination, anxiolysis, and the elicitation of signs of physical dependence on withdrawal. We tested the hypothesis that the commonly abused solvents toluene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCE), and trichloroethylene (TCY) affect ligand-gated ion channel activity, as do other classes of central nervous system-depressive agents. TCE and toluene, like ethanol, reversibly enhanced gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)(A) receptor-mediated synaptic currents in rat hippocampal slices. All three inhalants significantly and reversibly enhanced neurotransmitter-activated currents at alpha1beta1 GABA(A) and alpha1 glycine receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. We previously identified specific amino acids of glycine and GABA(A) receptor subunits mediating alcohol and volatile anesthetic enhancement of receptor function. Toluene, TCE, and TCY were tested on several glycine receptor mutants, some of which were insensitive to ethanol and/or enflurane. Toluene and TCY enhancement of glycine receptor function was seen in all these mutants. However, the potentiating effects of TCE were abolished in three mutants and enhanced in two, a pattern more akin to that seen with enflurane than ethanol. These data suggest that inhaled drugs of abuse affect ligand-gated ion channels, and that the molecular sites of action of these compounds may overlap with those of ethanol and the volatile anesthetics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we measured the minimum alveolar anesthetic concentration (MAC) in several mouse strains, including strains used in the construction of genetically engineered mice. This is important because defined genetic modifications are used increasingly to test mechanisms of inhaled anesthetic action, and background variability in MAC can potentially influence the interpretation of these studies. We investigated the effect of strain on MAC for desflurane, isoflurane, halothane, ethanol, the experimental anesthetic 1-chloro-1,2,2-trifluorocyclobutane, and convulsive 50% effective dose (the dose required to produce convulsions in 50% of animals) of the nonimmobilizer 1,2-dichlorohexafluorocyclobutane. These drugs were studied in eight inbred strains, including both laboratory and wild mouse strains (129/J, 129/SvJ, 129/Ola Hsd, C57BL/6NHsd, C57BL/6J, DBA/2J, Spret/Ei, and Cast/Ei), one hybrid strain (B6129F2/J, derived from the C57BL/6J and 129/J strains), and one outbred strain (CD-1). To test our ability to detect effects in a genetically modified mouse, we compared these data with those for a mouse lacking the gamma (neuronal) isoform of the protein kinase C gene (PKCgamma). We also assessed whether amputating the tail tip of mice (a standard method of obtaining tissue for genetic analysis) increased MAC (e.g., by sensitization of the spinal cord). MAC and convulsant 50% effective dose values differed modestly among strains, with a range of 17% to 39% from the lowest to highest values for MAC using conventional anesthetics, and up to 48% using the experimental anesthetic 1-chloro-1,2,2-trifluorocyclobutane. Convulsivity to the nonimmobilizer varied by 47%. Amputating the tail tip did not affect MAC. PKCgamma knockout mice had significantly higher MAC values than control animals for isoflurane, but not for halothane or desflurane, which implies that protein phosphorylation by PKCgamma can alter sensitivity to isoflurane. IMPLICATIONS: Anesthetic potency differs by modest amounts among inbred, outbred, wild, and laboratory mouse strains. Absence of the neural form of protein kinase C increases minimum alveolar anesthetic concentration for isoflurane, indicating that protein phosphorylation by the gamma-isoform of protein kinase C (PKCgamma) can influence the potency of this anesthetic.