Drosophila melanogaster as a model for study of general anesthesia: The quantitative response to clinical anesthetics and alkanes

R. Allada, H. A. Nash*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using an assay of the geotactic behavior of the fruit fly, we have quantified anesthetic effects in Drosophila melanogaster. We determined dose- responses for nine conventional anesthetics and a series of n-alkanes. For the conventional anesthetics, anesthetic potency and olive oil/gas partition coefficients are well correlated. However, as one ascends the series of alkanes of chain lengths 5-11, the increase in anesthetic potency is considerably less than that predicted by olive oil solubility. These examples of agreement and disagreement with the Meyer-Overton rule provide a basis for comparing the responses of fruit flies with those of higher organisms; such comparisons suggest that the anesthetic target is evolutionarily conserved. For alkanes with chain lengths greater than 11, anesthetic effects are variable and slow to develop. This behavior reflects limited volatility and provides no evidence for a cut-off in the action of alkanes at their target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Volume77
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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