Inhibitory Effects of Intravenous Anesthetics on Mast Cell Function

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Mast cells play a protective role in the inflammation and auto-tissue injury. The impairment of mast cell function may influence defense against infection. We investigated the effect of four IV anesthetics (thiopental, midazolam, ketamine, and propofol) on the chemotaxis and exocytosis of mast cells. Canine mast cell chemotaxis was measured by the Boyden's blindwell chamber technique using 100 μg/mL of substance P as a stimulator. We measured mast cell exocytosis by measuring released histamine from mast cells using substance P or gamma-monomeric IgG-mediated crosslinking as a stimulator. Thiopental, midazolam, and propofol exerted a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on mast cell chemotaxis. Ketamine, midazolam, and propofol had a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on mast cell exocytosis. In conclusion, midazolam and propofol inhibited both chemotaxis and exocytosis of mast cells, while thiopental only inhibited chemotaxis, and ketamine only inhibited exocytosis.

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