Halothane and propofol modulation of γ-aminobutyric acidA receptor single-channel currents

Akira Kitamura, Ryoichi Sato, William Marszalec, Jay Z. Yeh, Ryo Ogawa, Toshio Narahashi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Halothane and propofol enhance the activity of the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system, which is one of the most important systems in the mechanism of anesthesia. To determine whether halothane and propofol enhance GABAergic responses by the same mechanism, we performed single-channel patch-clamp experiments with rat cortical neurons in primary culture. Each of the open-time and closed-time distributions of GABAA receptor single channels was expressed by a sum of fast and slow time constants. Neither halothane nor propofol changed the single-channel conductance. Halothane increased the probability of the channel being open via a prolongation of the slow phase of open time, whereas propofol increased the channel open probability via a shortening of the slow phase of closed time. Thus, although both halothane and propofol augmented the channel open probability, thereby causing an increase in charge transfer during inhibitory transmitter action, they acted by different mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-415
Number of pages7
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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