The extracellular patch-clamp technique was used to examine how halothane, a general anesthetic, affects the properties of single nicotonic acetylcholine receptor channels of embryonic Xenopus skeletal muscle cells grown in culture. Under control conditions, single-channel events showed a bimodal distribution on the basis of current amplitudes. This distribution was maintained during exposure to halothane and its washout. In addition, the mean currency value of the low- and high-amplitude channels was unaffected by the presence of the anesthetic at clinically relevant concentrations. In contrast, halothane shortened the burst durations of both channel types in a concentration-dependent manner. This shortening of burst durations may be an expression of the more rapid relaxation of the channel protein to the nonconducting state, possibly due to the disordering effect of the anesthetic on membrane lipids in which the receptor protein is embedded. This functional change, in the behavior of the synaptic receptor, provides further direct information on the mode of action of general anesthetics.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Issue number||9 I|
|State||Published - 1984|
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