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

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Abstract

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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