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Sevoflurane, which is preferentially used as a day-case anesthetic based on its low blood solubility, acts on the central nervous system and exerts analgesic effects. However, it still remains unknown whether sevoflurane affects the excitability of nociceptive sensory neurons. Therefore, we conducted this study to examine the effects of sevoflurane on the excitability of small-sized dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons of rats using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. In a voltage-clamp condition, sevoflurane elicited the membrane current in a concentration-dependent manner, in which the reversal potential was similar to the equilibrium potential of K+. In a current-clamp condition, sevoflurane directly depolarized the membrane potentials in a concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, at a clinically relevant concentration, sevoflurane decreased the threshold for action potential generation. These findings suggest that sevoflurane acts on the leak K+ channels to increase the excitability of DRG neurons. Sevoflurane increased the half-width of single action potentials, which resulted from the inhibition of voltage-gated K+ currents, including the fast inactivating A-type and non-inactivating delayed rectifier K+ currents. Our study indicates that sevoflurane could exhibit pronociceptive effects on nociceptive sensory neurons by inhibiting K+ conductances. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Won-Tae Lee, Michiko Nakamura, Jin-Hwa Cho, Il-Sung Jang. Sevoflurane excites nociceptive sensory neurons by inhibiting K+ conductances in rats. Neuroscience letters. 2021 May 10;756:135951

PMID: 33984431

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