Oct 1, 1976

Molecular mechanisms of nerve block by local anesthetics

G Strichartz


Local anesthetics block nerve conduction by preventing the increase in membrane permeability to sodium ions that normally leads to a nerve impulse. Among anesthetics containing tertiary amine groups, the cationic, protonated form appears to be more active than the neutral form. However, the neutral forms, as well as uncharged molecules like benzocaine and the aliphatic alcohols, also depress sodium permeability. Studies of single myelinated nerves and squid axons show no direct interaction between calcium ions and local anesthetics, thus disproving theories based on competition between these two agents. Likewise, hypotheses attributing local anesthesia to changes in electrical potentials at the membrane-water interface are disproven by the demonstrated potencies of electrically uncharged anesthetics. Hypotheses that propose that local anesthetics act by expanding the nerve membrane and causing a change in protein conformation that blocks sodium permeability are vague in conception and difficult to test experimentally. Evidence from voltage-clamp studies of single nerve fibers indicates that anesthetic molecules interact with the sodium channels directly, from the inner side of the nerve membrane. Anesthetics bind within sodium ...Continue Reading

  • References
  • Citations124


  • We're still populating references for this paper, please check back later.

Mentioned in this Paper

Resting Potentials
Synaptic Transmission
Motor Neurons
Receptors, Drug
Nerve Conduction Function
Topical anesthetic
General Anesthesia

About this Paper

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Bone Marrow Neoplasms

Bone Marrow Neoplasms are cancers that occur in the bone marrow. Discover the latest research on Bone Marrow Neoplasms here.

IGA Glomerulonephritis

IgA glomerulonephritis is a chronic form of glomerulonephritis characterized by deposits of predominantly Iimmunoglobin A in the mesangial area. Discover the latest research on IgA glomerulonephritis here.

Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

Cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) allows the determination of biological macromolecules and their assemblies at a near-atomic resolution. Here is the latest research.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.

LRRK2 & Immunity During Infection

Mutations in the LRRK2 gene are a risk-factor for developing Parkinson’s disease. However, LRRK2 has been shown to function as a central regulator of vesicular trafficking, infection, immunity, and inflammation. Here is the latest research on the role of this kinase on immunity during infection.

Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Antiphospholipid syndrome or antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS or APLS), is an autoimmune, hypercoagulable state caused by the presence of antibodies directed against phospholipids.

Meningococcal Myelitis

Meningococcal myelitis is characterized by inflammation and myelin damage to the meninges and spinal cord. Discover the latest research on meningococcal myelitis here.

Alzheimer's Disease: MS4A

Variants within membrane-spanning 4-domains subfamily A (MS4A) gene cluster have recently been implicated in Alzheimer's disease by recent genome-wide association studies. Here is the latest research.

© 2020 Meta ULC. All rights reserved