Site and mechanism of anesthetic action. I. Effect of anesthetics and pressure on fluidity of spin-labeled lipid vesicles

Boggs, J.M.; Yoong, T.; Hsia, J.C.

Molecular Pharmacology 12(1): 127-135


ISSN/ISBN: 0026-895X
PMID: 176564
Accession: 068523101

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The lipid expansion hypothesis of anesthesia was re-examined. The effect of anesthetics and pressure on the order parameter of egg phosphatidylcholine-cholesterol bilayer vesicles labeled with fatty acid spin labels was measured. Concentrations of halothane, chloroform, diethyl ether, butanol and benzyl alcohol which produce general anesthesia have no significant effect on the order of the bilayer structure, while 100 atm of He have a constant small ordering effect with or without anesthetics. The lack of correlation between anesthetic and pressure effects on lipid model membranes fails to support the lipid fluidization hypothesis of anesthesia or to account for pressure reversal of general and local anesthesia.