Xu, TL (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Neurosci, 320 Yue Yang Rd, Shanghai 200031, Peoples R China,email@example.com
To assess the actions of thiopental at the spinal dorsal horn level, we examined the effects of thiopental using the whole cell patch-clamp technique on mechanically dissociated rat spinal dorsal horn neurons. Thiopental, at large concentrations, elicited a current (I-Thio) through activation of chloride conductance, and its threshold concentration was approximately 50 mu M. I-Thio was sensitive to bicuculline, a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptor antagonist, but not to strychnine, a glycine receptor antagonist. At a clinically relevant concentration (30 mu M), thiopental markedly enhanced the peak amplitude of a subsaturating GABA-induced current (I-GABA) but not that of a saturating GABA-induced current. Furthermore, thiopental prolonged the time constants of both desensitization and deactivation of I-GABA. At a large concentration (300 mu M), it inhibited the peak amplitude of I-GABA, which may be the result of open-channel blockade. In addition, at 30 mu M, thiopental increased the duration and decreased the frequency of GABAergic miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents. These results indicate that thiopental enhances GABAergic inhibitory transmission and suggest that GABA(A) receptors in the spinal cord are a potential target through which thiopental causes immobility and depresses the response to noxious stimuli.
Yang, CX; Xu, H; Zhou, KQ; Wang, MY; Xu, TL.Modulation of gamma-aminobutyric acid(A) receptor function by thiopental in the rat spinal dorsal horn neurons,ANESTHESIA AND ANALGESIA,2006,102(4):1114-1120