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Effects of inhaled anesthetic isoflurane on long-term potentiation of CA3 pyramidal cell afferents in vivo

Authors Ballesteros K, Sikorski A, Orfila, Martinez J

Received 5 February 2012

Accepted for publication 4 May 2012

Published 9 November 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 935—942


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Kristen A Ballesteros,1 Angela Sikorski,2 James E Orfila,3 Joe L Martinez Jr4

1Department of Biology, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA; 2Texas A&M University Texarkana, Texarkana, TX, USA; 3University of Colorado in Denver, Denver, CO, USA; 4University of Illinois in Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Abstract: Isoflurane is a preferred anesthetic, due to its properties that allow a precise concentration to be delivered continually during in vivo experimentation. The major mechanism of action of isoflurane is modulation of the γ-amino butyric acid (GABAA) receptor-chloride channel, mediating inhibitory synaptic transmission. Animal studies have shown that isoflurane does not cause cell death, but it does inhibit cell growth and causes long-term hippocampal learning deficits. As there are no studies characterizing the effects of isoflurane on electrophysiological aspects of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus, it is important to determine whether isoflurane alters the characteristic responses of hippocampal afferents to cornu ammonis region 3 (CA3). We investigated the effects of isoflurane on adult male rats during in vivo induction of LTP, using the mossy fiber pathway, the lateral perforant pathway, the medial perforant pathway, and the commissural CA3 (cCA3) to CA3, with intracranial administration of Ringer’s solution, naloxone, RS-aminoindan-1, 5-dicarboxylic acid (AIDA), or 3-[(R)-2-carboxypiperazin-4-yl]-propo-2-enyl-1-phosphonic acid (CPP). Then, we compared these responses to published electrophysiological data, using sodium pentobarbital as an anesthetic, under similar experimental conditions. Our results showed that LTP was exhibited in animals anesthetized with isoflurane under vehicle conditions. With the exception of AIDA in the lateral perforant pathway, the defining characteristics of the four pathways appeared to remain intact, except for the observation that LTP was markedly reduced in animals anesthetized with isoflurane compared to those anesthetized with sodium pentobarbital. The results suggest that isoflurane may affect amplitude through activation of GABAA receptors or mechanisms important to LTP in CA3 afferent fibers.

Keywords: in vivo electrophysiology, isoflurane, sodium pentobarbital

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