The gap junction blocker carbenoxolone enhances propofol and sevoflurane-induced loss of consciousness*☆

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General anesthetics induce loss of consciousness by inhibiting ascending arousal pathways, and they interfere with gap junction electrical coupling. The present study aimed to determine whether inhibition of gap junction-mediated signaling could influence general anesthetic-induced loss of consciousness. The general anesthetics sevoflurane and propofol were used. Intracerebroventricular administration of carbenoxolone, a gap junction blocker, significantly decreased the time to loss of the righting reflex (P < 0.05), but prolonged the time to recovery of the reflex (P < 0.05). Moreover, intracerebroventricular administration of carbenoxolone increased the sensitivity to sevoflurane, with a leftward shift of the loss of righting reflex dose-response curve, and decreased the 50% effective concentration of sevoflurane. These results suggest that the gap junction blocker carbenoxolone enhances propofol and sevoflurane-mediated general anesthesia.

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