PMID: 9105230Apr 1, 1997Paper

Alpha 4 beta 2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the central nervous system are inhibited by isoflurane and propofol, but alpha 7-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are unaffected

P FloodL Role


The mechanisms of action of general anesthetics are not completely understood. Many general anesthetics are reported to potentiate gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) and glycine receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) and to inhibit the muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). The effects of general anesthetics on another family of ligand-gated ion channel in the CNS, the nAChRs, have not been defined. Two types of CNS acetylcholine receptor, the alpha 4 beta 2 receptor or the alpha 7 homomeric receptor, were expressed heterologously in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Using the standard two-microelectrode voltage-clamp technique, peak acetylcholinegated current was measured before and after coapplication of isoflurane or propofol. Coapplication of either isoflurane or propofol with acetylcholine resulted in potent, dose-dependent inhibition of the alpha 4 beta 2 receptor current with median inhibitory concentrations of 85 and 19 microM, respectively. The inhibition of the alpha 4 beta 2 receptor by both isoflurane and propofol appears to be competitive with respect to acetylcholine. The alpha 7 receptor current was not effected by either anesthetic. The CNS-type nAChRs are differentially affected by isoflurane and propo...Continue Reading

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